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Wed Oct 01 22:22:15 SAST 2014

'A second Marikana- on the cards'

AMUKELANI CHAUKE | 20 September, 2012 00:06
Striking miners dance and cheer after they were informed of a 22 percent wage increase offer outside Lonmin's Marikana mine, 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Johannesburg.
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / REUTERS

Leaders of the South Africa Municipal Workers' Union are faced with a possible Marikana-style revolt after the South African Local Government Association refused to implement a wage scale agreement for three years.

The union plans to embark on a national strike at the beginning of next month, which is expected to bring the delivery of basic services to a standstill .

In June, after a three-year court battle, the Johannesburg Labour Court ordered the association to implement a wage curve agreement to address pay anomalies and pave the way for improving the salaries of underpaid workers.

It is appealing the ruling .

Samwu's general secretary, Walter Theledi, yesterday warned that while municipal officials are "disciplined", they might go the Marikana route and seek to make local government ungovernable.

"Our members might take issues into their own hands.

"We have been told that the chances of [Salga's] appeal succeeding are very low. Salga is just doing this to further frustrate the process, which is making our members angry. It is also not unlikely that the current instability could quickly turn into the second Marikana tragedy," he said.

Platinum products producer Lonmin - after a month-long strike that claimed 45 lives - reached an agreement on wages with striking rock drill operators on Tuesday .

The union's delegates at the Cosatu conference in Midrand said that in light of the favourable outcome in Marikana, its members might "push" for their demands to be implemented outside bargaining processes.

Theledi earlier said: "Municipal workers' patience is wearing thin .

"We are calling on the ANC to intervene in this dispute and ensure that Salga, which is ANC-controlled, is reined in and abides by the Labour Court judgment that was awarded in the workers' favour."

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Wed Oct 01 22:22:16 SAST 2014 ::