The eThekwini Municipality has apologised to residents and business who they say have bore the brunt of illegal strike action that has brought the city to a halt. Basic services like the collection of trash stopped while strikers dumped heaps of garbage around the City Hall during their protest. Some areas has been hit by water disruptions as protestors shut of supply valves.
The strike is believed to have been triggered by pay grade issues as well as the employment of uMkhoto we Sizwe military veterans, but this has been dismissed by the eThekwini Mayor Sandile Gumede.
I want to dispel the notion that the municipality favours military veterans and do not care about other municipal workers, especially those who are members of SAMWU. This is a blue lie and we believe that such a narrative is aimed at sowing division and weakening the municipality, said Gumede.
City manager Sipho Nzuza is assuring residents and the business sector that the eThekwini Municipality is doing everything in its power to ensure that services are provided unwaveringly. He said that private contractors have been sourced to move swiftly to assist in restoring the provision of basic services in the event of disruption. We have already started with refuse removal in the city-centre. Two private contractors and 100 volunteers have been brought on board to ensure all refuse in and around the city-centre is cleared within 24 hours. We are also prioritising refuse that is life threatening.
“We have also hired contractors to assist us in our endeavour to provide water 24/7, said Nzuza. We are appealing to all residents not to take out their refuse until the strike is officially declared over. Residents are implored to dispose of their garbage at the following landfill sites which are Mariannhill, Ilovu and Buffelsdraai.
Residents are assured that tap water is very safe to drink and are requested to disregard hoax messages that are circulating on social media to the contrary. The City urges all its employees to resume their duties immediately while the labour dispute is being deliberated upon at the central bargaining council. The principle of no work no pay applies to all workers participating in the strike, he said.