Msunduzi: municipal contractor's late pay a result of system 'bottleneck'

2011-11-03 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality’s electricity disconnection contractors not being paid is becoming an ongoing saga.

Last month they were paid two weeks after the stipulated date on their contract for their August payment. This month they are yet to be paid for their September work.

Some of the workers employed by the contractors faced eviction from their homes for not paying their rent. Many of the contractors are emerging businesses from disadvantage communities and do not have spare capital to sustain their companies if they are not paid.

They are furious after acting municipal manager Thokozani Maseko lambasted them last month for going to the media.

Maseko said he had an “open door” policy.

However, the contractors say they have been going from office to office in the municipality, including Maseko’s, since Monday and all doors have been firmly shut.

They were told by the secretaries that Maseko and the other officials were either not in or in back-to-back meetings.

No one could tell them when they were going to be paid.

For the last two months, they have been calling on administrator Sibusiso Sithole to investigate which staff members are not attending to the paperwork and causing the delays in payment.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said the delay in paying contractors and the inconvenience caused were regrettable.

“It is not a deliberate attempt to frustrate them, when they are providing a service to the municipality,” Zuma said.

“It is clear there are bottlenecks within the system which result in the delay of payments.”

He added that payments were authorised yesterday and, after a meeting with the relevant managers, an immediate investigation will be instituted to deal with the bottlenecks.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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