Today's Labour News

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EmfuleniCity Press reports that in the seven years between 2013 and 2020, the struggling Emfuleni Local Municipality in Gauteng splurged R500 million on law firms to defend labour disputes.

More than R169 million was paid out to employees in lost cases. During that period, the rulings in only in 12 cases were in the municipality’s favour. The municipality lost 18 cases, with two cases resulting in Labour Court judgments in favour of the employees. According to information gleaned from replies in the Gauteng legislature, a total of 11 law firms were hired to represent the municipality in labour disputes – with two firms pocketing R78.7 million and R77 million each. In March last year, it was revealed that the then chief financial officer Andile Dyakala had been paid R1.6 million for sitting at home on suspension for a year. The municipality spent more than R6.4 million on three legal firms in its dispute with Dyakala, but was bale was able to recover a paltry R450 570.24 from Dyakala, who parted ways with the municipality in September last year. It was also revealed last month that the municipality spent in excess of R55 million over five years on four law firms in a futile labour dispute with an employee to avoid paying him R739,000. The DA’s Kingsol Chabalala, said the party was deeply concerned about the fact that, rather than using the internal legal services at its disposal to resolve labour disputes, the municipality opted for private law firms. He voiced outrage over Emfuleni’s continued reckless and “ridiculous” spending of public funds on legal services at a time when it was grappling with financial challenges.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sipho Mabena at City Press (subscriber access only)


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