Ray of hope for former municipal workers

Private investigator Tabo Buzwa explains a possible resolution of a 23-year-old labour dispute that has left 366 former Germiston City Council employees routing for their retrenchment and pension pay-out packages.

The group of Kathorus residents has thanked the Ekurhuleni municipality for undertaking to try and resolve the matter.

The group’s spokesperson, private investigator Tabo Buzwa, of Buzwa Private and Forensic Investigators, said he is highly optimistic of a positive outcome.

According to Buzwa, the dispute has left many of the families and their dependents destitute.

“This was despite the fact that they were all promised they would get

their jobs back as soon as the rent boycotts and service delivery

payments were resumed by township residents. But instead, to this day,

none of the remaining 326 were ever called back to their jobs,” lamented

66-year-old Pingana Miya, a former store manager in Katlehong under the

old Germiston City Council.

It is estimated that 366 workers were originally retrenched. Forty of them are believed to have migrated back to their respective rural homelands, where some died of old age and others of unknown ailments. “But their next-of-kin and relatives are here with us to fully represent the families,” said a spirited Buzwa.

However, Buzwa cautioned the embattled former workers not to expect immediate results.

This follows a meeting he and the former workers had with high-ranking representatives of the Ekurhuleni municipality a fortnight ago. The meeting was an attempt to resolve the prolonged labour dispute, which has been left unresolved since the old Germiston City Council was dissolved after 1994. MMC Khosi Mabaso addressed a group of the former employees outside the Emabhodweni Municipal Offices in Katlehong North on Friday, March 24th.

Efforts to contact Mabaso proved futile. However, Buzwa told Kathorus MAIL that Mabaso’s involvement in the matter has raised his clients’ hopes. “I can conclusively say that she has undertaken to get back to us as soon as she has finished discussing the matter internally within the metro. She was also very impressed by the new information that surfaced during our March 24 meeting,” explained Buzwa without divulging further.

Also read: Workers fight on 22 years later

Zaid Khumalo

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