Imatu, Samwu take municipalities to court over owed statutory benefit contributions

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Municipal unions Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) and South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) in the North West, have resolved to take municipalities that owe statutory benefit contributions to court.

It is reported that scores of municipal employees in the province owe over R54 million in pension fund contributions.

This is despite the money being deducted from their salaries.

The affected municipalities include Naledi in Vryburg, Kgetlengrivier in Koster, Mamusa in Schweizer-Reneke and Tswaing in Delareyville.

Samwu provincial secretary Vincent Diphoko says, “Workers are in pain each and every month because their pension funds are still outstanding for more than two to three years for some of them.”

Imatu provincial chairperson George Morapedi says, “Basically this is impacting badly on our members. If I would make an example, we have members who are supposed to go on pension. But if these people are supposed to go on pension because the municipalities did not pay … [this] is an inconvenience to those employees because some of them they have reached their retirement [age].”

Meanwhile, Mamusa Municipal Manager Rantsho Gincane has attributed their failure to pay R15 million in employee pension funds and R18 million to the South African Revenue Service (Sars) to financial constraints.

“Mainly most of the causes of these debts are the financial problems that the municipality will encounter as a result of non-payment of services, especially in the townships. But also one can not deny that there would have been problems of general financial management in the municipality which if it is attended to, it may turn around the situation,” says Gincane.