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SALGA Condemns the burning of Bloemfontein City Hall

Posted: 22 June 2017


The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) learned with regret and condemns the burning of the monumental Bloemfontein City Hall on Wednesday, 21 June 2017. The City Hall that is located in President Brand Street, which has been declared a national conservation area in its entirety has great historical significance to the city and contributes to the Mangaung and Free State’s tourism.

SALGA is of the view that no magnitude of grievances or dissatisfaction by municipal officials or community members will ever justify vandalism and destruction of public property. Elements of criminality cannot be allowed to infiltrate and derail labour relations processes outlined in South Africa’s legislations. We are equally concerned by the continuing destruction of municipal property in different parts of the Country, this places inordinate financial burden on already limited financial coffers of municipalities.

South Africa is one of the few countries in the world where the right to strike and raise grievances is guaranteed. Section 23 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Republic stipulates that “every worker has a right to strike.” Labour unions and workers, in general, are urged to exercise this right within the ambits of the law. Unions must take decisive action against their members that are found guilty of detroying property.

SALGA as an employer association of municipalities is aware of the labour disputes that are ongoing at Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and is currently hard at work with the Municipality to ensure that these are resolved. The relevant SALGA Working Group will deliberate on the matter today with a view to possibly send a team to Mangaung to resolve the impasse, together with other relevant roleplayers. Destruction of property is not only bad for service delivery but is regressing gains made since the dawn of democracy in our Country.

We commend the security services and the South African Police Services on the speed at which they apprehended the alleged suspects of this criminal act. We hope that justice takes its cause and that all acts of criminality are condemned as they do not have a place in our democratic government.


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