SAMWU Strike: Plans in Place, Rand Water Says Taps Won't Run Dry

SAMWU Strike: Plans in Place, Rand Water Says Taps Won't Run Dry

- The South African Municipal Workers Union and members of Rand Water are planning to strike on Wednesday, 21 April

- Reports say that the workers have accused Rand Water of changing conditions of service without prior consultation

- The strike is indefinite but, it has been reported that taps will not run dry as workers are not allowed to leave their posts for an essential service

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On Wednesday members of the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) and workers at Rand Water prepare for an indefinite strike in support of wage increases, and to raise awareness on other concerns.

The SAMWU Gauteng Deputy Provincial Secretary Mamorena Madisha accused Rand Water of changing employees' conditions of service without consultation.

Reports, however, state that taps will not run dry as workers are not allowed to abandon their posts due to the fact that the water utility is an essential service.

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SAMWU Strike: Plans in place, rand water says won't affect water
Members of SAMWU and Rand Water are planning on striking on Wednesday, 21 April. Image: Roberto Machado Noa / LightRocket
Source: Getty Images

The following is a list of some of the union demands according to Madisha:

  • A single-year salary and wage agreement.
  • A R4,000 salary increase for all workers under the auspices of the SALGBC.
  • A R15,000 sectoral minimum wage.
  • A R3,500 housing allowance for all workers.
  • 80% employer medical aid contribution and 20% employee contribution.
  • Six months fully paid maternal leave and one month fully paid paternity leave.
  • A 25% employer contribution towards pension.

According to TimesLIVE, Rand Water rejected claims by SAMWU stating that they had not consulted the union prior to making a decision not to pay employees performance incentive bonuses.

It was also reported that the strike could be devastating for certain economic sectors such as manufacturing, mining and agriculture, which account for the use of 60% of all available water in the country for irrigation.

A report by EWN stated that Gauteng, the North West, Mpumalanga and Free State all have municipalities and industries that are supplied by Rand Water.

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In other protest news, Briefly News reported that 26 universities across the country planned a #NationalShutdown. This is according to the South African Union of Student (SAUS). The SAUS said that the students from the various universities will be protesting over financial exclusion.

The students want historical debt to be abandoned and for their voices to be heard. Reports say the SAUS met with Deputy Higher Education Minister Buti Manamela to share their memorandum of demands.

Social media is buzzing with the news of the #NationalShutdown with mixed opinions being shared and the hashtag at the number one trending spot on Twitter.

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