Rand Water says it has formally received notification of an industrial strike from the South African Municipal Workers ‘ Union (Samwu) on Wednesday morning.

The water utility says it acknowledges the rights of employees to embark on a legal strike once the preconditions for a protest action have been complied with.

It says at this stage the matter is with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and the conciliation on the matter has been set for next week Wednesday.

Rand Water spokesperson, Justice Mohale, says measures have been put in place for the provision of water

“Once the CCMA has heard the matter and the two parties still failed to reach an agreement, a certification of none resolution would be issued and this can form the basis for them to go on a strike. In the absence of this process being followed any industrial action would be deemed illegal and unprotected,”says Mohale.

Mohale, says the employer is open to negotiations to avoid strike action.

“We have received that notification and we are quite confident that the union will come to the table and continue with the negotiations with the management of the organisation to ensure such a strike doesn’t go ahead. Rand Water has systems in places to ensure that there is a sustainable provision of water to all our customers. We have systems that we have put in place. If it goes ahead, people will still be opening their taps and having fresh water.”

 Demands

Samwu’s Gauteng Deputy Secretary, Mamorena Madisha says their demands are justified.

“Our employer, Rand Water, has unilaterally changed our terms and conditions of service. We recently received communication that they have decided that they are not going to pay for our incentive bonuses after over 70 years of consecutively paying for these bonuses. This communication came through without consultation with the employees or with labour,” says Madisha.