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Latecomers locked out

Latecomers to work at the Matjhabeng Municipality’s main offices in Stateway received a rude shock on Monday (03/06) when they were confronted by an angry mayor and locked doors.

Executive Mayor Nkosinjani Speelman, supported by some councillors, the acting municipal manager, Tumelo Makofane, and other heads of departments ordered the lockout because of what Speelman termed “an undisciplined worker corps”.

Some 110 employees stood in the cold while the mayor “read them the riot act”.

Speelman told Vista that his reason for locking the employees out comes directly from the premier and the president.

“Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa said we must get the municipalities back in line to do what is expected of a municipality. If managers and workers are late, how do they expect to serve the people and get jobs done? We must monitor and evaluate to ensure our municipality is viable and that there is discipline,” says Speelman.

“Municipal workers are suppose to clock in at 07:30, not 08:45. I don’t have a problem with the employees, this was not personal. But they must realise there will be discipline and the work will be done,” says Speelman.

“While I was standing there, a woman wanted to pay her service account. She came to the municipality at 07:30 to be at her own place of work by 08:00. She left angry and without being helped because there was no-one to assist her in that department.

“This is unacceptable. The Auditor-General said in his report there is no proper administration in Matjhabeng,” says Speelman.

Speelman says he has initiated a clampdown.

“Managers who do not qualify or who do not care will not be allowed to work here.

“If they do not do their work, they will be fired. Heads are going to roll. I will ensure an effective municipality. Matjhabeng must be clean and neat, we must go back to what we were,” he says.

Speelman monitored the municipality in Virginia last week, and he says more surprise clampdowns and lockouts will follow around Matjhabeng this week.

Vista spoke to some of the employees affected by this action, and there are some very unhappy people.

“I got to work at 07:15 and the door was already locked. While I was standing outside people arrived at 07:20 and even 07:25. None of us were allowed in. This is unfair. The working day starts at 07:30,” one worker told Vista.

Officials say they appreciate what Speelman did. Discipline is important in the work force and imposing discipline is a good thing, but they have reservations.

“There are officials in the mayor’s office who have not come to work for months and even years, and there are those who always come late.

“They were not locked out and no action is being taken against the non-workers. We say the mayor must be fair. He does not act consequently.

“His actions are demorali­sing and the workers corps is dispirited. He breaks his promises to us,” another employee told Vista.

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