HAPPY EASTER

IMATU would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Christian members a Happy Easter. We hope that members will be able to take this time to rest and spend time with their family and loved ones.

IMATU ATTENDS THE 3RD PRESIDENTIAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT SUMMIT

IMATU is participating in the 3rd Presidential Local Government Summit in Midrand, from 6-7 April 2017. Our President, Stanley Khoza, will be delivering a message of support this morning.

The purpose of the summit is to continue supporting the Back-to-Basics programme in South African municipalities, as a building block for what the National Development Plan defines as developmental local governance. Summit delegates will also be discussing ways to further strengthen the system of local government in the second phase of the Back-to-Basics programme, with a special focus on spacial equality, building resilient communities and achieving social and economic transformation.

IMATU COMMENTS ON SOUTH AFRICA’S SOVEREIGN CREDIT RATING DOWNGRADE

The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is deeply concerned by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) decision to downgrade South Africa’s sovereign credit rating yesterday afternoon, following an emergency meeting over the weekend. Fellow global ratings agency Moody’s, announced this morning that it was placing South Africa on review for a downgrade.

S&P reduced South Africa’s credit rating one notch to BB+ from BBB-, placing the country’s bonds in ‘speculative grade’, commonly called “junk status”. In simplistic terms, a ratings downgrade leads to lower access to credit and it costs more for South Africa to borrow the money it needs to finance its social support commitments relating to health, housing and education.

“While IMATU prides itself on focussing on the needs of our members in the local government sector and maintaining a politically independent approach to socio-economic situations, all South Africans will be affected by this change in the country’s investment status. IMATU believes that the downgrade will directly undermine the goals of our National Development Plan, to eradicate poverty, inequality and build a more inclusive economy. Our concerns are rooted in the direct effects a downgrade will have on higher levels of unemployment and increases in the prices of food and fuel,” explained IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.

S&P attributed its decision to fiscal and political instability, stating “the downgrade reflects our view that the divisions in the ANC-led government that have led to changes in the executive leadership, including the Finance Minister, have put policy continuity at risk…This has increased the likelihood that economic growth and fiscal outcomes could suffer.”

“The precarious nature of our present economic outlook and the potential harm that will be experienced by our members, fellow South Africans and, most unfortunately, the vulnerable sectors of our society, necessitates that IMATU becomes involved. We are calling on our Country’s executive to provide decisive leadership, clear policy positions and political stability in a bid to mitigate the damage that has already been done,” concluded Koen.

NATIONAL SHORT TERM RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN (1 March – 30 April 2017)

The first National Short Term Recruitment Campaign of 2017 will take place from 1 March – 30 April 2017.

During this period, Regions will be required to pay recruiters the increased recruitment incentive referred to below for each individual recruited. The campaign will not be limited to recruitment by shop stewards and ordinary members must be encouraged to participate as well.

1. CAMPAIGN
1.1 Date of Campaign
The campaign will run from 1 March – 30 April 2017.

1.2 Target
The target is for each shop steward to recruit a minimum of 5 (five) members during the campaign.

1.3 Recruitment of EPWP, Interns, Apprentices and Other Temporary Workers
Changes to the local government landscape and growing competition for new members has necessitated the recruitment of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers, Contract workers, Interns, Apprentices and other temporary workers, hereafter all referred to as “temporary workers”.

As of 1 January 2017, the recruitment of temporary and/or allied workers will be permitted to count towards a recruiter’s total recruitment figures during the national campaign periods. Therefore, all temporary workers recruited between 1 March – 30 April 2017 will be counted towards a recruiter’s total recruitment figures and possible prize ranking.

Please refer to the SOP: RECRUITMENT OF EPWP, INTERNS, APPRENTICES AND OTHER TEMPORARY WORKERS, to view the guidelines for the recruitment of temporary workers that was circulated on 13 December 2016.

1.4 Metro vs non-Metro Regions
It has been noted by the National Executive Council that recruiters based in Metropolitan areas or large cities have a proximity advantage over recruiters operating in the ‘platteland’ with vast geographical spaces between relatively small municipalities. In order to address this discrepancy, recruiters will be divided into individuals recruiting in a metropolitan area (i.e. City of Joburg, City of Cape Town, eThekwini, Ekurhuleni, City of Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Buffalo City Metro, Mangaung), and non-Metro areas.

1.5 Incentive
For each permanent member recruited, a recruitment incentive of R 200 will be paid to the recruiter by the Region concerned.

In the case of the recruitment of temporary workers, a recruitment incentive of R50 will be paid to the recruiter by the Region concerned.

2. COMPETITION

2.1 Prizes for the five best recruiters
The shop steward/member who recruits the highest, second, third, fourth and fifth highest number of members during the period of the campaign, provided that they have recruited a minimum of 40 (forty) members each, will be awarded the following prizes in both the Metro and non-Metro categories:

Metro Regions Non-Metro Regions
1st Prize: R 8 000 cash prize 1st Prize: R 8 000 cash prize
2nd Prize: R 6 000 cash prize 2nd Prize: R 6 000 cash prize
3rd Prize: R 4 500 cash prize 3rd Prize: R 4 500 cash prize
4th Prize: R 3 500 cash prize 4th Prize: R 3 500 cash prize
5th Prize: R 3 000 cash prize 5th Prize: R 3 000 cash prize

2.2 Lucky draw
There will also be a lucky draw where 20 prizes will be given as follows:

R 2 500 each will be given to five (5) Metro and five (5) non-Metro recruiters who have recruited at least 20 new members each.

R1 500 each will be given to five (5) Metro and five (5) non-Metro recruiters who recruited at least 15 members each.

THANK YOU TO OUR EMS AND DMS MEMBERS

IMATU would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members in the Emergency Management Services (EMS) and Disaster Management Services (DMS) for their dedication and bravery. The recent flash floods in Gauteng and raging fires in the Western Cape are a reminder of the very difficult challenges these workers must operate under. We say thank you for your hard work and continue to hope for your good health and safe return each day.

IMATU COMMENTS ON THE 2017 NATIONAL BUDGET

The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is pleased to see that the Minister of Finance’s 2017 Budget Speech emphasised the importance of infrastructure development, creating spatial linkages between rural and urban municipalities and the need to create a more equal society.

“In his Parliamentary Address, Minister Gordhan acknowledged the growing pressures facing municipalities from both the rising cost of bulk services and the rapidly growing numbers of households. We agree that support of education, health services and municipal functions in rural areas must remain at the core of Government’s spending programmes. If aspects relating to underspending of infrastructure grants, wasteful expenditure, corruption and inadequate training could be addressed, local government would be on the right track to meaningfully address our Country’s challenges of economic transformation, sustainable development and equal access to basic services,” stated IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.

IMATU is pleased to note the increased emphasis on investing in the improvement of the financial capabilities of municipalities. “We welcome the Minister’s pledge to strengthen financial management in municipalities and agree that ‘if we make progress in local financial management, we will transform the lives of millions of people’. IMATU will support Government’s supply chain management interventions and efforts to improve revenue and asset management. The efficient allocation of resources, cutting of wasteful expenditure and elimination of corruption will directly benefit service delivery,” commented Koen.

South Africa’s economy needs to grow faster and more inclusively. IMATU supports the National Development Plan’s vision of newly developed spatial plans for cities, improved public transport, better procurement and supply chain management and the upgrading of informal settlements.

“Sustainable economic growth and development will only take place once we start to effectively tackle the challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty. IMATU believes that with effective leadership, correctly channelled resources, the up-skilling of workers and the rooting out of corruption, Local Government can offer a sustainable service delivery model that will assist in the efficient collaboration between local, provincial and national tiers of Government,” concluded Koen.

salary

SALARY AND WAGE INCREASE 2017-2018

salaryThe salary increase for 2017-2018 will be made up of the average CPI for the period February 2016 until January 2017, plus 1%.

The CPI figures for this period have become available and are as follows:

Feb 2016 – 7.0%
Mar 2016 – 6.3%
April 2016 – 6.2%
May 2016 – 6.1%
June 2016 – 6.3%
July 2016 – 6.0%
Aug 2016 – 5.9%
Sept 2016 – 6.1%
Oct 2016 – 6.4%
Nov 2016 – 6.6%
Dec 2016 – 6.8%
Jan 2017 – 6.6%

Average CPI – 6.36%

Therefore, the salary increase, effective from 1 July 2017, will be 7.36%.

All benefits and conditions of service linked to salaries also increase by 7.36%.

The housing allowance increases to R796.61.

The maximum medical aid contribution increases to R3 942.22.

The minimum wage increases to R6 845.09.

Please note that these figures are based on IMATU’s own calculations and are not yet official. The SALGBC will confirm the official increases by means of a national circular later this year.

Members will be informed once the official SALGBC circular is released.

IMATU COMMENTS ON SONA

state-of-the-nation-address2017Following the delivery of last night’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is committed to making local government work.

“IMATU members, like all South Africans, are concerned by escalating living costs, economic challenges, infrastructure needs and access to, and the provision of, basic services. We welcome the President’s commitment to focus on the very important areas of water and sanitation infrastructure, transport infrastructure and broadband rollout. IMATU is also encouraged by the President’s pledge to reignite growth in order to create much-needed jobs,” stated IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.

IMATU is supportive of the Presidency’s Nine Point Plan but would like to see increased interventions to assist struggling municipalities. IMATU believes that regular site visits to municipalities, better oversight of supply chain management processes and the implementation of forensic report recommendations will greatly assist in the combating of corruption and improvement of service delivery.

“As an organisation, we have discussed many of the same issues highlighted in this year’s SONA. Two of our key focus areas within the local government sector, remain water and energy security. IMATU is an active participant in the War on Leaks programme and is pleased to see efforts to train our young people as plumbers, artisans and water agents. The upskilling and training of personnel will be a step in the right direction to address the challenges of skills shortages and vacancy rates, currently experienced in many municipalities. IMATU will also be monitoring implementation efforts around the Independent Power Producers Programme (IPPP) as well as scheduled energy build and maintenance programmes,” explained Koen.

IMATU is committed to realising social transformation through a sustainable local government and continues to support the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ (COGTA) Back to Basics Plan, which aims to promote good governance and effective administration in local government.

“IMATU will heed our Government’s call to work together. The commitment of our members must however, be met with the same enthusiasm and political will from the top,” he concluded.

IMATU SUPPORTS THE SANDLA HEALING CENTRE

sandla_healing_centre Staff members from the Mpumalanga Regional Office recently visited the Sandla Healing Centre in the Sizani Village in Clau-Clau, just outside Mbombela.

The Centre is run by Pastor Frans Shongwe and his wife Dumisile. The Centre started as a feeding project in 2007 for a single child, but had to quickly grow to accommodate the increasing number of children in need – presently standing in excess of 100. Despite the assistance of 6 volunteers, the centre is still in need of many basic requirements in order to provide a safe and effective learning environment. The children largely consist of orphans, children from single-parent families and other vulnerable circumstances.

As people will know, water scarcity is a serious challenge in the area and it is here that IMATU believed it could make a real difference. The Mpumalanga Region donated a 5000 litre JoJo tank to the Centre to ensure optimum water storage and use. The Region will continue to support the Centre, with the objective to assist in the provision of all basic requirements needed by the children

OBITUARY: Pieter Johan Van Blommestein (19 November 1958 – 11 January 2017)

pieter_van_blommestein(B.J. Koen and S.A. Gray on behalf of the IMATU President, National Executive Council members and all Staff).

It is with a deep sense of devastation and sorrow, that we inform our members of the passing away of our National Finance Manager, Mr Piet van Blommestein, on 11 January 2017, after a bravely fought battle with cancer.

Piet, or “Blommie” as he was affectionately known to his colleagues, served IMATU as a shop steward and Regional Executive Committee member, for approximately 20 years, before joining IMATU in a full-time capacity as our National Finance Manager in August 2008.

Piet’s years of experience in varying capacities as a Municipal employee, particularly in the Internal Audit field, proved invaluable in first stabilising, and then strengthening IMATU’s financial operations to the point where we now receive clean audits and are financially stronger than we ever have been.

Piet devoted his nearly nine years at the IMATU National Office, to building systems, procedures and developing policies, that have not only strengthened this organisation, but that will serve as his legacy for years to come.

Piet was fondly always teased that Excel spreadsheets were what he ate, drank, and dreamed of at night. He would sit in his office for oftentimes, up to 10 hours a day, passionately working on the next “template”. When Piet could bear to drag himself away from his beloved Excel, he was an avid participant in many IMATU 4-balls over the years, and our golfing team will also sorely miss him in this capacity.

For those of us who were privileged to get to know Piet on a more personal level, we will miss him for so many more reasons than just his invaluable contribution to IMATU as an organisation.

Piet was our friend, our brother, an integral part of our IMATU family. His passing has left us shattered, and we will forever have a big hole in our hearts.

We draw solace from the certain knowledge that Piet is now finally at peace in a place where there is no more suffering and pain.

Piet, we salute you, we miss you, and we will always remember you. You will be in our hearts forever.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them”.