History & Establishment
The vast and differentiated political dispensation in local government also created disparate conditions of service for local government employees. The institutions that were responsible for industrial relations were the Industrial Councils for the Local Government Undertaking/s, which was fragmented along provincial demarcations in the erstwhile Free State, Natal, and Cape provinces. These old industrial councils were not fully representative of all stakeholders. An interim structure called the National Labour Relations Forum (NLRF) was established to ensure that all trade unions and employer organizations participated in one single institution. The trade union parties in the NLRF numbered approximately nine and the employer organizations approximately three. The larger City Councils were independent as employers and did not belong to any employers organization.
The NLRF was established in 1994. This forum was responsible for the transformation of the labour relations environment in local government. The founding Constitution of the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) was negotiated and concluded in the NLRF.
An Establishment Agreement was signed on 2 September 1997, which resulted in the formation of the Interim SALGBC. The Establishment Agreement made provision for the disestablishment of the old industrial councils and for the registration of the SALGBC. The signatories to the Establishment Agreement were SALGA, as the employer organization, on the one hand and SAMWU and IMATU, the trade union parties on the other. The number of trade union parties was reduced from nine in 1994 to two, viz. SAMWU and IMATU, in 1997. The number of employer organisations was reduced from three in 1994 to one, viz SALGA, in 1997.
The SALGBC was duly registered on 1 March 2001 in terms of Section 29(15)(a) of the Labour Relations Act, 1995.
SALGA currently represents the 257 municipalities in the country. The trade unions SAMWU and IMATU jointly represent 91.4% of the employees in the 257 municipalities.