Workers at VBS-linked West Rand municipality stage council chambers sit-in over unpaid salaries
Aggrieved workers at the controversial West Rand municipality in the west of Johannesburg brought the municipality to standstill on Wednesday.
The chanting employees stormed into the municipal chambers and disrupted the council sitting and staged a sit-in at about 14:00. They chained the doors leading into the chambers, preventing politicians and executive officials from exiting the building.
The workers threatened not to leave the chambers until they got salary notifications on their cellphones.
The municipality invested R77m with controversial VBS Mutual Bank despite financial constraints.
During the sit-in, ANC leaders as well as senior employees engaged in brief meetings under the watch of the protesting employees. Calls were made while the workers continued chanting slogans.
The disgruntled employees claimed that some of them last received their salaries in August.
'They think they are clever'
West Rand secretary of the Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers' Union Pitso Mogole said workers were frustrated by the municipality's failure to fulfil its obligations.
"Our salaries are not paid as expected. Those who are affected are workers at level six to level one, including politicians. We last received our salaries in August and there is no solution at all to fix this problem. Our policies and mortgage bonds are also affected. Our properties can be repossessed anytime.
There is no way VBS could ever be salvaged, says central bank authority
JOHANNESBURG - Prospects of salvaging VBS Mutual Bank diminished yesterday, following the South African Reserve Bank’s (Sarb’s) application to have the corruption riddled institution liquidated.
The central bank’s Prudential Authority (PA) which regulates banks in the country filed an application for the final winding up of VBS with the North Gauteng High Court, charging that there was no prospect of saving the embattled institution that was grounded by the looting of R2billion from its coffers.
The PA said in its application that the liquidation of VBS was not avoidable.
“VBS is hopelessly insolvent and massive frauds have been perpetrated against it.
“There is no prospect of entering any resolution plan in respect of VBS,” the PA said.
“It will serve no purpose to grant a provisional winding-up as the conclusion of the hopeless financial position and the conduct of those who managed VBS is unavoidable.”
VBS Mutual Bank minority shareholders say they have raised R2 billion to save the troubled Bank from being liquidated. This was announced by the chairperson of the bank’s board Madambi Muvhulawa during a prayer service held in Thohoyandou to save the bank.
Muvhulawa says they have informed the finance minister of their intention to pay the R2 billion for the bank to be saved. They also want VBS to be granted a licence as a commercial bank.
Muvhulawa, who is one of the founders of VBS, says they have instructed their lawyers to challenge the planned liquidation by the Reserve Bank.
“While we are busy now that she should see the new minister so that we can explain to him the plan which he found on the table, we are picking up the announcement that VBS is going to be liquidated – which then is against what we are doing, which nevertheless we brought to our attorneys. So they had to go to court to find documents, now they are working on them so that they can prepare a challenge to this liquidation,” says Muvhulawa.
The report (in the Sunday Times) said that Mkhize (I think I have the name right) was known to be out for himself, and later says the money was paid at Mkhizes instruction to a supplier. Given how corruption works it is probably premature of the ST to use such a headline just now. The ANC may well never have seen the money: it could well have found its way to Mkhize instead.