The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) in Limpopo has distanced itself from the comments made in the Sowetan newspaper accusing senior managers of appointing managers on a tribal background.
“[SAMWU] in the Limpopo Province wishes to distance itself from the comment made to the Sowetan newspaper by one of our branch leaders in Mopani District Municipality,” spokesperson Tahir Sema in a statement.
According to newspaper report, Steven Mashabane, Mopani District Municipality chairman, said his union had embarked on a strike because of the imbalances of staff absorption in the municipality. “More often than not Maake overlooks Tsonga- and Venda-speaking people in favour of Pedis,” Mashabane was quoted as saying.
“It is wrong that the municipality is now run by a Pedi-speaking municipal manager and a Pedi-speaking mayor. It is also painful that the same municipality had a chief financial officer, technical director and corporate services director who are all Pedi-speaking,” Mashabane said.
Mashabane accused municipal manager Timothy Maake of tribalism and nepotism in the appointment of employees at the municipality.
“SAMWU is a municipal trade union representing members from all walks of life. The union would therefore want to distance itself from any comment or statement that seeks to characterise our society on the basis of colour, gender and/or of a tribal background,” Sema said.
The report alleged that “the union wants the municipality to appoint a Tsonga-speaking person to the position of municipal manager”.
“It should therefore be put on record that the comments made to the Sowetan do not constitute our policy,” Sema further explained.
Despite facing stiff opposition from the union, the ANC in Limpopo has ignored the union’s demands and renewed Maake’s contract for another five years, the newspaper reported.