Following a three-week strike, the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has reached an agreement with Rustenburg Local Municipality to end the three week long protected strike at the municipality. The protected strike, which began on 6th May 2024, arose from longstanding grievances concerning the municipality’s categorisation. 

Our members in the municipality had for many years demanded that the Rustenburg Local Municipality be categorised in line with others of a similar size. A breakthrough was achieved on 22nd  May after a full council meeting, resulting in parties entering into a settlement agreement. A key aspect of this agreement is the reclassification of Rustenburg to Category 6, effective from 1st July 2024. This will result in changes to resource allocation, employee benefits, and overall operations, bringing them into alignment with similar municipalities. 

The agreement also establishes a Working Task Team to oversee implementation and benchmark Rustenburg against Category 7 municipalities. This will ensure that best practices are adopted for optimal service delivery to residents. 

Significantly, SAMWU recruited over 100 new members from another union during the strike. This is seen as a strong vote of confidence in their leadership. SAMWU welcomes these new members and encourages others to join, aiming to strengthen their bargaining power nationwide. The union commends its Rustenburg members for their resilience and commitment in fighting for their rights. 

This strike underlines the crucial role of trade unions and the power of collective action in achieving worker goals. The successful negotiation serves as a reminder of the importance of trade unions in advocating for workers’ rights and improving working conditions. SAMWU views this victory as a win for Rustenburg workers and a testament to the enduring strength of the South African trade union movement. 

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