Congratulations to Marlene Le Grange – Celebrating 40 Years of Service with IMATU

The President, National Executive Council, General Secretary and staff of IMATU would like to congratulate Marlene with 40 years of dedicated service!!!  Well done with this outstanding achievement!!!

Marlene commenced employment on 1 August 1980, at our Port Elizabeth Office, as a Clerk in the Finance Department. On 25 November 1999 Marlene was promoted to the post of Administration Manager and thereafter to the post of Deputy Branch Manager (Finance and Administration) in 2001.

Her believe in self-development ensured that she, amongst others, completed a Certificate in Bookkeeping in 2002 and Practical Accounting in 2003. Marlene proved to be a huge asset in the Finance Department and she accepted the position of Manager: Finance and Administration in the Eastern Cape Region in 2004.

Perseverance and self-development are trademarks unique to Marlene as is evident in her work-life at IMATU, loyal service, attention to detail, commitment and work ethics.

We thank her for her loyal and efficient service and we are looking forward to her ongoing commitment to IMATU.

Marlene is indeed an inspiration to us all.

From the desk of Mr. Churchill Mothapo, Regional Manager Eastern Cape Region (2017 to current):

Marlene Le Grange started working for IMATU at the tender age of 20. She has lived and spent her entire adulthood working for IMATU as a dedicated, loyal, committed and trustworthy employee. She has been, and still is, the fountain of knowledge to all the past and present IMATU employees in the Region through her wealth of knowledge, experience and the institutional memory that she possesses.

Her immense knowledge and understanding of our processes and operations has helped in stabilising the Region’s Finance and Administration section. Not only is she seen as the Finance and Administration Manageress, but as the mother figure to some and a dear friend to others, to both members of staff and union membership alike.

Her completion of 40 years of service with IMATU in the month of August, which is the month dedicated to WOMEN, demonstrates that she is indeed “IMBOKODO” – the Rock.

From the desk of Ms. Cathi Botes, Regional Manager eThekwini Region (Cathi was Marlene’s Manager from 2007 to 2016):

It is an honour for this opportunity to appreciate Marlene’s remarkable career milestone of achieving 40 years of service in IMATU.

I was fortunate to work with Marlene for 9 of these years and her unwavering dedication, loyalty and commitment to the organisation, colleagues, and members was outstanding! Through the years, she consistently gave her best at all times and I will always remember Marlene for her good work ethic and being a good role model to all in IMATU.

From the desk of Mr. Rudy de Bruyn, Regional Manager Tshwane Region (Rudy was Marlene’s Manager from 1997 to 2007):

Ai Doortjie kan nie glo jy werk al veertig jaar vir IMATU nie. Ek was bevooreg om vir tien jaar saam met jou te kon werk toe die Oos Kaap Streekskantoor begin is. Saam het ons groot “challenges” gehad en oorkom om die “great” Oos Kaap Streek te vestig. Sonder jou sou die streek nie gewees het waar hy vandag is nie. Jy was en is nog steeds n “awesome” Finans Bestuurder en bate vir IMATU. Dit was n voorreg om saam met jou te kon werk. O ja en speel 😊. Mag jou volgende veertig  jaar by IMATU net so voorspoedig wees.

IMATU expresses grief and outrage at killing of Traffic Officer in roadblock near Khayalitsha

It is with great sadness that we report the death of one of our members in the City of Cape Town, who was tragically killed whilst executing his duties at a roadblock on Friday 7 August 2020.

We convey our sincere condolences to his family and friends. It is indeed both a tragedy and an outrage that our members who selflessly work day after day to protect the lives and safety of others, themselves fall victim to the most atrocious type of violence.  We understand that a suspect has been apprehended and we trust that justice will be meted out swiftly.


On Sunday 9 August 2020 IMATU will join with the nation in celebrating Women’s Day.

In one of the landmark moments of our country’s history, approximately 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956, to protest against the notorious pass laws.  The “pass” was designed to maintain population segregation, control urbanisation and manage migrant labour during the apartheid era.

This march was led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams.  The women left 14 000 petitions at the office doors of the  prime minister, JG Strijdom, and then stood silently for 30 minutes, whereafter they started singing a protest song that had been composed in honour of the occasion: “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo” (Now you have touched the women, you strike a rock).

In the years since 1956, the phrase “if you strike a woman you strike a rock” has come to represent women’s courage and strength, in South Africa, and it is this courage and strength that we will again celebrate, on 9 August 2020.

Amidst the celebrations, however, the 9th of August is also a time to reflect sombrely on the ongoing gender based violence that the women (and children) of our country are subjected to on a daily basis.  It is one of the tragedies of the new decade, and more particularly during the current COVID pandemic, that more than half of the women in South Africa have experienced some form of violence from someone with whom they were in a relationship.  The most vulnerable members of our communities, our women and children, are being subjected to unprecedented levels of violence, and on this Women’s Day, IMATU calls on all citizens of this country to take a stand against gender based violence, and to remember the legacy of those indomitable women who marched against the pass laws, in 1956. 

IMATU successful in labour court Unilateral deductions from employee’s salaries for services unconstitutional

IMATU has recently challenged the constitutionality of Item 10 of Schedule 2 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act. This followed complaints by IMATU members in various municipalities (in this case Oudsthoorn Municipality) raising complaints about the municipality making unilateral deductions from staff members’ salaries in respect of alleged arrear rates and services.

IMATU challenged the relevant municipal legislation in the Labour Court, on the basis that the provision constitutes self-help and that municipalities make these deductions without consent.

On 20 July 2020, the Labour Court declared the section to be in violation of section 34 of the Constitution as it inter alia imposed strict liability on an employee, constituted self-help and allowed a municipal accounting officer unrestrained power to determine, unilaterally, the instalments without agreement with the employee. The deductions were declared unlawful.

The Judge has applied reading-in and has ordered that Item 10 of Schedule 2 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act now reads as follows:

“A staff member of a municipality may not be in arrears to the Municipality for rates and services or service charges for a period longer than three months, and a municipality may deduct any outstanding amounts from a staff member’s salary after this period only with the consent of the staff member, or failing such consent, in terms of a court order or judgment of a competent court authorizing such deduction.”

We are delighted with the judgement as it now confirms that no deduction can be done without the employees consent or a court order.

Please ensure that these principles are applied in your Municipality


The birthday of our former President Nelson Mandela, born on 18 July 1918, has come to represent a day in which we remember what he in his individual capacity has done for our country and what we in turn can do for each other.

The Mandela Day campaign message is simple: Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of oppressed humanity and in turn all South Africans are asked to give 67 minutes of their time to make a difference in the lives of others. Former President Mandela in his own words was clear that the message is passed on from generation to generation when he said “it is in your hands now”.

The values which Madiba’s life and legacy represent include democracy, freedom, equality, diversity, reconciliation and respect. Many people and organisations globally take part in various activities to promote Nelson Mandela Day by encouraging people to recognise their individual power to make a difference and change the world around them for the better.

Mandela Day has become an annual opportunity for IMATU to engage in social responsibility initiatives and take responsibility for changing our communities in honouring Madiba’s legacy.

This year, IMATU notes with deep regret, the premature passing of Zindiswa Mandela, the daughter of former President Mandela and struggle stalwart, Winnie Mandela.  Zindiswa has been recognised as someone who devoted her life to equality and had, in her own right, been an icon in the task of securing freedom for the people of South Africa.  We extend our deepest condolences to the Mandela family in this very difficult time.

This year, IMATU is commemorating Mandela Day as follows: 

Our Eastern Cape Region is distributing perishable and non-perishable food items to the Home of Joy Child and Youth Centre in Makhanda. 

Our Cape Metro Region has donated R30 000 to a child care facility in Khayalitsha, the Fikilela AIDS Project.  The Region is most proud at having been associated with this project for the past 6 years, and are thrilled to witness the fruits of their annual donation in the improvement of the care facilities for the young children at the centre.

The Tshwane Region is delivering the following items to the Tshwaraneng Home: groceries, toiletries and facecloths, paint and painting accessories, fruit and vegetables, a temperature scanner (kindly donated by Paper Place), sanitisers, gloves and specially produced Mandela Masks.  The Home is the permanent shelter for 18 children, who will also be receiving lunch and colddrinks from the Region, on Monday 20 July 2020.

The Gauteng Region is making a donation to the MES organisation in Kempton Park.  This organisation looks after homeless and vulnerable members of the community in the Kempton Park area and surrounds.

The National Office is partnering with the Johannesburg Region and will be donating sling bags containing sanitary towels, soap bars, beanies and pens, to the Purple Foundation.  This non-profit foundation was born in the heart of Annari du Plessis, founder of Crossroads in 2012. Crossroads is a Trauma and Community Centre that gives assistance to members in the community who are hurt and failed by role players or who needs assistance during traumatic incidents.  The success of Crossroads led to the birth of the GO PURPLE FOUNDATION in 2014.  They carry the badge of bullying, humiliation, arrest, jail time, abuse, emotional abuse and prosecution with pride as they are unstoppable in running the race to rescue those in need of care and protection and to bring hope, healing and victory to anyone who has survived trauma, especially acts of sexual violence.  They are the public voice and face for hope during these traumatic events.  Annari is assisted by Selina Mokheseng, Operational Manager and various community leaders and voluntary workers from the community and schools.  They work closely with the local Police Stations.

Our Kwazulu Natal Region is making a R10 000 donation to the Imizamo Day Care Centre in Kokstad.  This preschool is located in the Bhongweni township, and had previously been run from a shack which later got demolished.  The preschool currently looks after 63 children from birth to 5 years old, and will be using the funds donated, to help build a permanent structure for the children.

In eThekwini, the IMATU Regional Office is donating R30 000 to the Umlazi Junior Primary School, which is one of the most indigent schools in Durban South.  This school has 1021 learners registered.



It is well known that in terms of the multi-year Salary and Wage Agreement, municipal employees are to receive a 6.25% annual increase with effect from 1 July 2020.  Due to many factors (including the COVID-19 pandemic), many municipalities are (according to these municipalities) experiencing extraordinary cash flow problems, and are unable to afford the implementation of the 6.25% increase.  Several of these municipalities have thus applied for an exemption in terms of the relevant clause of the collective agreement.  Such exemption applications can only, however, be granted on limited grounds and furthermore have to be heard by a Senior Commissioner of the SALGBC.

In the Western Cape Region, 7 municipalities have formally brought such applications, whereof 1 was subsequently withdrawn.

Members are assured that IMATU is opposing all such applications, and we have appointed external legal practitioners, including Counsel, to ensure that our members’ rights in terms of the collective agreement are protected.


At a meeting of IMATU’s National Executive Council held on 25 June 2020, Ms Queen Mbatha was elected as the new Deputy President of IMATU.

Ms Mbatha was born in Cato Ridge, Mkhambathini, KwaNyavu, attended Nomfihlela Primary School in KwaXimba and matriculated at Ogwini Comprehensive High School in Umlazi.  Ms Mbatha holds a National Diploma from the erstwhile M.L. Sultan Technikon (now known as eThekwini DUT).

Ms Mbatha was employed in the Treasury Department of the eThekwini Municipality during 1994 and joined one of the Unions that subsequently amalgamated to form IMATU. Ms Mbatha has been a shop steward since 2002 and has served on the eThekwini Regional Committee since 2007 in a number of portfolios, and as Vice Chairperson since 2010. Ms Mbatha has also served as a member of the National Executive Council since 2010 and held various positions on the Human Resources, Labour Relations and Finance Committees of the NEC.

Ms Mbatha was elected as the Vice President: Finances at the 2016 Congress, and has also recently been elected as the Regional Chairperson of eThekwini Region.

Ms Mbatha is the second woman to serve as Deputy President of IMATU and this is indeed confirmation of the great strides that IMATU has made in transforming our structures at the highest levels.

Ms Mbatha encourages women to grow their self-confidence and resilience, and step up into leadership positions for the good of our Union and our members.


18 June 2020

A special meeting of the SALGBC Central Council – Executive Committee was held yesterday. At this meeting, officials from National Treasury made a presentation to the SALGBC parties on the economic downturn on municipal finances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Treasury stated that municipal finances have been hard hit by a reduction in revenue collection and it wanted the SALGBC parties to agree to give up wage increases for 2020/2021 and exempt all municipalities from paying the 6.25% wage increase.

IMATU, however, immediately launched into a detailed questioning of National Treasury’s figures and we proved conclusively that National Treasury’s presentation is based on exaggerations, baseless assumptions, claims not supported by facts and selective quoting from documents in order to build a case. The Treasury officials seemed to be caught off guard by IMATU’s sophisticated knowledge of municipal finances and they were completely flustered, unprepared and unable to answer IMATU’s questions. Ultimately giving confusing, senseless and disingenuous answers as an attempt to hide their embarrassment.

Most importantly, IMATU questioned whether municipal councillors are also being asked to forego their wage increases. The Treasury officials again had no answer, claiming that they have no control over councillor increases. Effectively, therefore, municipal employees are being asked to give up their increases but not municipal councillors.

After the National Treasury presentation was concluded, the SALGBC parties made the following decision:

Effectively, for now, this means that the salary and wage increase of 6.25%, effective from 1 July 2020, will proceed as stated in the SALGBC Circular.

However, in the event that National Treasury or SALGA make attempts to block the wage increase, IMATU will oppose such attempts by all means necessary. The wage increase is contained in a binding collective agreement and municipalities are compelled by law to adhere thereto.

Please note, however, that a very small number of individual municipalities have submitted exemption applications to the SALGBC to be exempted from paying the wage increase. IMATU is actively opposing such applications.

The National Office is preparing a more detailed circular on the National Treasury presentation and IMATU’s challenges thereto and will circulate the same in due course.

– END –

IMATU is the most progressive trade union representing our members in the local government sector. IMATU is a registered trade union striving for social transformation through sustainable local government.  See for more information



The Labour appeal court handed down a judgement last week in the Matusa appeal against the payment of an agency fee.

As we all know all non IMATU and Samwu members are compelled to pay the monthly agency fee to the SALGBC over and above the normal union fees should they belong to another union.

Matusa held the view that their members are not compelled to pay the agency fee and referred the matter to the labour court. The Labour Court found against Matusa, with costs and confirmed the obligation to pay agency fees. Matusa appealed the matter. IMATU opposed the appeal and the labour appeal Court confirmed the labour court judgement, again with cost against Matusa.

The effect of the Labour Appeal court judgement basically confirms that all Matusa and or Demawusa members are compelled to pay the agency fee over and above the union fees. Employers are also compelled to deduct these fees from all such non-members of IMATU and Samwu and pay same to the SALGBC.

Kindly ensure that all members are informed of this victory and monitor compliance should employees still opt to join these minority unions.