Samwu workers storm Pretoria CBD over alleged payment issues

Video footage of a violent protest at Tshwane House, Pretoria has been making the rounds on social media. The protest, led by angry and frustrated members of the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), has led to damage of property in and around the CBD on Tuesday 21 July. 

According to the Democratic Alliance (DA), the workers in Pretoria, are protesting over “benchmarking” payments that were allegedly not delivered. This after an agreement was allegedly signed between the municipality and the city’s major unions. 

WATCH: SAMWU PROTESTERS DESTROY PROPERTY AT TSHWANE HOUSE, PRETORIA

In the videos and images posted by Yusuf Abramjee and the Democratic Alliance, Samwu protesters can be seen burning bins in the middle of the street. It also appears that some of the members were destroying property inside Tshwane House. 

Protesters can also be seen dispersing in the Pretoria CBD after police intervened.

Tshwane bus service tweeted saying: 

“Please be informed of the bus service disruption due to the current protest which affects our buses to depart in the depots. We will provide continuous updates on the resumption once the situation is stabilized as our drivers are ready to operate,” it said on Tuesday. 

The South African reached out to Tshwane Metro Police Department spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba for comment but he did not respond. 

The South African Police Service (SAPS) did, however, tweet that public order police have been deployed to closely monitor the protest action in the Pretoria CBD.

DA BLAMES ADMINISTRATORS

The DA, noting the protest at Tshwane House in Pretoria, by Samwu members, said it’s as a result of the “ANC’s illegally imposed administrators backtracking on salary increases” as part of the benchmarking agreement signed between the municipality and the city’s major unions. The DA said the administrators in Pretoria should have been able to facilitate proper negotiation.

“The DA believes that the administrators should have found a way to get all parties around a table to ensure proper negotiation takes place on this matter before dismissing the concerns raised by the unions. It is alarming to see the violent destruction of city property that has taken place due to the manner in which the ANC administrators simply ignored the workers of the city,” said DA Tshwane Mayoral Candidate Randall Williams. 

Despite Williams pronouncing how workers were mistreated, he said it is still no excuse for the violence that took place in the Pretoria CBD.

“This simply cannot be tolerated and those involved must face criminal charges. We call on the administrators to work with SAMWU and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) in a civil manner to restore service delivery as a matter of urgency and avoid any further destruction or violence that will only cost the taxpayers and residents of the city,” added Williams. 

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