The Star reports that Solomon Lethuba, who lost his job along with his 40 colleagues at Grinpal Energy Management Services, a company contracted by City Power, is without work and destitute despite a ruling by the Constitutional Court ordering City Power to absorb the Grinpal employees when its contract was terminated in July 2012.
The desperation of Lethuba and his former colleagues and City Power’s contravention of an order by the highest court in the country have shone the spotlight on the extent of the vulnerability of employees at the hands of unscrupulous companies flouting labour laws with impunity. City Power took the case all the way to the ConCourt after losing an earlier appeal at the Labour Court in May last year. In April this year, the ConCourt upheld the Labour Court’s judgment, which was that there had indeed been a transfer of business between Grinpal and City Power when the former’s contract was terminated. The ConCourt ordered that an automatic transfer of the employees from Grinpal to City Power be effected. But two months after the ConCourt’s ruling, City Power has yet to absorb the employees. And instead of reimbursing the employees back to 2012 as ordered, the entity has failed to do so. Lethuba and his former colleagues have this week been staging sit-ins inside City Power’s offices in Booysens, demanding their jobs back. City Power spokesman Hloni Motloung admitted that the entity was in contravention of the court order. He said the delay in employing and paying the backdated salaries was because the entity was waiting for the workers’ employment details and their records from Grinpal.
Read this report by Rabbie Serumula in full on page 1 of The Star of 3 July 2015