On Monday March 26, 2018 mayors of the region had to surrender their municipal activities to quell out a labour dispute that involved the Kgalagadi Pipeline Joint Venture of which Group Five is the main stakeholder involved in the construction of a water project on behalf of the Department of Water and Sanitation.
The centre of controversy revolved around the issue of three months' out-standing wages of employees.
The company had two separate agree-ments where a certain group of employees had a limited duration contract that subject-ed these to abrupt termination.
Another lot of employees had a longer contract that would last until March, 2020. Both groups had initially been told that there were cashflow constraints, but that the issues would be amicably resolved once clients had honoured their commitments.
However, it leaked out to the limited du-ration contract workers that the other group had been paid sustainably and that stirred up the hornet's nest leading to the unrest.
A week after, the four mayors Sofia Mo-
sikatsi (JTG district municipality), Neo George Masegela (Ga-Segonyana muni-cipality also the current ANC regional chair-person), Nelson Hantise (Gamagara mu-nicipality) and Dineo Leutlwetse (Joe Mo-rolong municipality) visited the company and its workers who arbitrarily brokered a peaceful deal yet to be sealed in the near fu-ture.
Payment of outstanding wages and sala-ries to the concerned workers was agreed upon by the employer paving a palatable platform in resolving other issues still out-standing.
The Ga-Segonyana mayor, representing his colleagues, said that they felt obliged to intervene in the dispute but on an impartial footing so that there was satisfaction be-tween both parties.
Mr Masegela expressed the significance of the project being undertaken by the Group Five and its partners for the develop-ment of the region, but also reiterated that workers constitute the perfect symbiosis in the project.
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