The matter between the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and City Power that was supposed to be heard this morning Tuesday June 04, 2013, at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, has been postponed once more.
Numsa brought a court challenge over Johannesburg municipal utility’s refusal to disclose information in relation to the R800 million tender for supply and installation of low pressure solar water geysers that was awarded in May 2012.
Numsa is demanding information on whose basis the tender was awarded not as a proxy of some narrow accumulation interests of tenderpreneurs or private business individuals, but in the interest of saving jobs. The sector that manufactures solar geysers is strategic given government’s programme to rollout 1-million solar water heaters by 2014.
Since the announcement of the rollout programme, this sector is bleeding and is under distress as on daily basis jobs are being lost amidst the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequality. The main cause of this bloodletting is large scale importation of solar water heaters.
“We are worried that this matter is being postponed unnecessarily and as a result of City Power’s further delaying tactics. How can a utility like City Power that has a huge legal department file its answering affidavit a day before a court hearing”, says Numsa’s National Treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo
“This raises serious suspicions that the court might be bullied or coerced by the City Power’s bosses to delay the court process. As NUMSA, we will not be deterred from this genuine and principled struggle by these provocative delays; we will fight until the end. Clearly any further delay by City Power or the court will force us to take the fight to the municipal electricity utility’s doorstep”, concludes Mphumzi Maqungo.
Today Numsa organised a significant number of its members drawn from the plants that manufacture and install low pressure solar water geysers to picket outside the court, As a sign of how seriously we take the matter more members will be outside the court when the case is heard next week Tuesday 11 June 2013, at South Gauteng High Court
Castro Ngobese, National Spokesperson – 081 011 1137