Samwu welcomes high court ruling on dismissed CoJ workers

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) in the Johannesburg region has welcomed the decisive ruling by the Gauteng division of the High Court on Thursday. The ruling was regarding the protracted legal battle between the CoJ130 and the City of Johannesburg.

Two year court battle

“After a two-year struggle for justice, the court has delivered a significant judgment that upholds the rights and dignity of our employees. In the judgement delivered today, by J Moorcroft, acting judge of the High Court of South Africa order includes:

  • Declaration of Permanent Employment: The court has rightfully declared that the CoJ130 applicants are permanent employees of the first respondent. This ensures stability and security in their employment status.
  • Obligation to Consult: The City of Johannesburg is now mandated to consult with the CoJ130 respondents before making any amendments to their employment contracts. This demonstrates a commitment to fairness and transparency in employment practices.
  • Costs Awarded: The court has ordered the City of Joburg to bear the costs of the application. This is inclusive of the costs of two counsel, reflecting the accountability that comes with unjust actions.
Unlawfully terminated

Samwu Johannesburg regional secretary Thobani Nkosi said this ruling is a testament to the resilience and perseverance of the CoJ130 employees. They were unlawfully served with termination letters by the DA-led government. The 130 staff members were employed by the City of Joburg in 2020 on fixed- term contracts. In 2021, then mayor, the late Geoff Makhubo, converted their contracts into permanent staff.

In 2022, when the DA came into power, it decided that the contracts were illegally converted to permanent by the ANC mayor. The contracts were then reversed back to fixed-term. As the new administration came in, the employees were dismissed, based on their now fixed-term contracts. 

Justice has prevailed 

“Under the previous administration, led by former mayor, Mpho Phalatse, the rights and livelihoods of our dedicated workforce were unjustly threatened. However, justice has prevailed. And we commend the high court for its impartiality and commitment to upholding the rule of law.

We recognise that this victory is not just for the CoJ130 but for all employees who deserve fair treatment and respect in the workplace. As Samwu, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering an inclusive and equitable work environment. Where the rights of every employee are protected and upheld,” said Nkosi.

Landmark decision

Nkosi said that Samwu extends sincere appreciation to all parties involved in this two-year legal process. These include the judiciary, legal representatives. Most importantly, the CoJ130 employees and their families. The dismissed employees proved their unwavering resolve and courage throughout this ordeal, he said.

“This landmark decision reaffirms our collective commitment to justice, fairness, and dignity in the workplace. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the City of Johannesburg remains a beacon of opportunity and equality for all its employees.” 

Visit SW YouTube Channel for our video content

Latest News