EDITORIAL NOTE: This story has been corrected. Limpopo Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Hitekani Magwedze was incorrectly quoted in the story published on July 26, 2022, as saying that the termination of employment must be finalised before the end of August. Magwedze did not say this.
The Mogalakwena Local Municipality in Mokopane, Limpopo, has been directed to terminate the appointment of more than 400 permanent workers who were allegedly irregularly appointed by the provincial Department of Co-operative Governance.
The workers were allegedly irregularly appointed by the former acting corporate services manager, Jabu Mashamaite three years ago.
The municipal authorities and the workers unions couldn’t be drawn in to comment.
It’s believed that the termination of employment must be finalised before the end of August.
Limpopo Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Hitekani Magwedze says the municipality is expected to take the legal route to set aside the appointments.
“This matter will be going through legal processes and as such, we cannot determine the termination as [it] will be still going to court. One of the employees has had his salary stopped for absconding from duty. The court will determine the cause of action,” adds Magwedze.
Meanwhile, labour expert Tshamunwe Masindi says the municipality does not have ground to terminate the employment contracts as it will be regarded as unfair dismissals.
“The municipality does not have ground to terminate the contract of employment of those plus and minus 400 employees. Because those employees were appointed legally. They didn’t appoint themselves. If they take the matter to bargaining council or [if] they take the matter to CCMA or they take the matter to Labour Court, those workers are going to win the case because they have ground of unfair dismissal,” explains Masindi.
Earlier this year, the South African Local Government Bargaining Council dismissed the case of more than 100 City of Johannesburg employees whose contracts were about to be terminated.
It rejected their claim that they are being unfairly dismissed.
The Labour Court had interdicted the City from advertising their jobs.
But that was pending the outcome from the bargaining council and it turned out to be a short-lived victory.
It all began in October last year when a City of Joburg resolution paved the way for 130 employees who were on fixed term contracts to become permanent employees.
The decision to make the contracts permanent was rescinded in February by the new Mayoral Council, with the City saying the previous decision to the employment status of the 130 was irregular and illegal.
The video below is reporting on the South African Local Government Bargaining Council decision: