One of Durban’s most popular tourist attractions, uShaka Marine World, closed its doors to visitors today (Monday, February 12) as workers – represented by the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) – embarked on industrial action to demand better wages.
The eThekwini Municipality, which became the sole owner of the attraction in 2016, has said uShaka will remain closed until the issue is resolved.
The management of uShaka received a notice from Samwu of its intention to strike on Friday.
CEO of uShaka, Ndabo Khoza, said the industrial action by the workers would impact the entity’s ability to provide quality service to guests which is why the decision was made to close it.
According to a Samwu spokesperson, a document leaked to them showed that an independent salary audit had been completed by 2016 and had made recommendations for increased wages.
However, said Samwu, these recommendations were not implemented.
Samwu became aware of these recommendations in 2020 and, in the 2022/2023 financial year, the union tabled the need for salary increases.
This case was deferred to the Commission for Conciliation for Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
To date, there has been no resolution between the two parties – employer vs employee – which has led to the current industrial action.
Samwu said during the CCMA hearings uShaka management offered R1.5 million (€73 262.75) to be shared among 333 workers. That offer was rejected.