Contractors not paid, down tools

2012-09-12 00:00

CONTRACTORS who perform electricity disconnections and reconnections have downed tools after Msunduzi Municipality again failed to pay them on time.

They complained to The Witness that they felt they were being treated like “beggars” by municipal officials.

“We are tired of being paid late by the municipality every month when we always submit our invoices in time,” said a representative of about 40 contractors, who asked not to be named.

He said their payments were 10 days late.

“Our contract states that we would be paid on the last day of every month. We … bring in much needed revenue for council, but they treat us like we are beggars when we work hard for this money.”

They used their own cars to carry out the work and could not afford petrol if they were not paid.

“The problem is the total incompetence of people who are not doing their work in the municipality, which leads to us being threatened with eviction by our landlords because we always pay them late.”

The contractors said it was difficult removing illegal connections. Residents in informal settlements swore at them.

They vowed to stop work until their demands were met.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said there were delays in the verification of invoices for work undertaken by the contractors, and a delay in processing their payment.

“As much as it is a necessary process to do, contractors should not have been disadvantaged in any way, and this is regretted.”

Zuma said the payments were processed yesterday and contractors would be paid today.

“In future we will ensure that processes are sped up.”

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