City workers still unhappy

2010-07-16 00:00

WORKERS employed by the Msunduzi Municipality are not happy with the intervention team.

This was apparent at the Havelock Road depot yesterday where Msunduzi administrator Johann Mettler, who was accompanied by the mayor, Mike Tarr, and other senior officials, met the workers and allowed them to air their grievances.

During their public one-on-one meeting with Mettler, workers said things have not improved since the arrival of the intervention team and every time they complain to their managers about certain issues, the managers say Mettler is to blame for the setbacks.

They said that although they are glad some senior managers have been suspended, Mettler also needs to take action against employees in the lower ranks who are “just as guilty as those who have been suspended”.

They told Mettler it is “unacceptable” that there is no money for their annual wage increases, which are supposed to come into effect from the end of this month.

Said a worker: “Why did you come here if there’s no money? You must go back to the government and tell them there’s no money,”

Mettler responded: “Not having resources to do your job is not unique to this section; it’s all over.”

He said he realised that there were problems with asset and fleet management when he took the job, but it would cost the municipality R300 million to replace the entire fleet “and we don’t have it”.

He said a full fleet management programme would cost another R8 million a month, but the team has put measures in place to deal with the situation.

Mettler said they had discovered that there were employees who were sabotaging vehicles and this added to the pressures on all the employees.

“I’m not in favour of outsourcing. People are more accountable if things are done internally,” said Mettler.

He said he does not know when the postponed annual wage increases will kick in, but he has asked the national government for money so they can increase revenue.

“So serious is the situation that if we don’t increase revenue then our entire budget is in danger.”

Mettler told the workers that his team has started investigating various municipal departments so it can “weed out” corrupt workers and “the same thing will happen to them like those in the higher ranks”.

He said problems were there long before the intervention, but now that things are being exposed, fingers are being pointed at the intervention team.

“It is because these thing happened that I came here … My job is to fix things,” said Mettler.

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