THE workers who protested outside the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, over what they perceived to be a delayed justice in their case with the City, were misinformed, municipal spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said. The out-of-work staff and subcontractors were bused in to the court to demand a speedy verdict.
The court case concerns the validity of a tender between their employer, Moipone Group of Companies, and the City.
The high court heard the case on September 21, but a verdict is still pending.
The workers said they supported their employer, who took the City to the high court for refusing to pay for services rendered under a “valid and binding” contract.
To showcase their frustrations, they marched from Marabastad to the high court, where they delivered a memorandum to acting court manager Lucky Makumule.
The protesters said the City lacked the will to honour its contractual obligations and that had put them out of work since June.
They were hoping for a favourable verdict. They accused municipal manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola of delaying justice by delaying submissions of certain documents the City’s lawyers were supposed to submit to be considered for the verdict.
The protesters said they could not afford to care for their families this festive season because of the conflict between their employer and the City.
Moipone Group spokeperson Keamogetswe Matsho said the court confirmed the validity of the contract, but they took the City to court again to enforce it.
“We are faced with the non-payment of R75639581 by the City.
“Of that figure, 58% is beyond 120 days. Every business would be detrimentally affected by the non-payment.
“The company has already acquired specialised and extensive equipment and vehicles to service the City under this contract.
“The vehicles are idling due to the conduct of the City.
The company is expected to pay monthly liabilities towards the idling vehicles and equipment.
“We have even taken on the financial responsibility of assisting the subcontractors by lending them money as they are faced with dire financial predicaments.”
But Mashigo said the City contracted another transport company on an emergency basis for a year.
This was because of the under-performance by Moipone; delivery was way beyond schedule.
“The City has submitted all documentation as requested by the judge. In September, the judge requested parties to submit additional heads of argument. The City duly obliged. As far the city is concerned, judgment is reserved. The judge should be given time to craft a judgment.”