Rubbish strike over trucks

2008-08-11 00:00

Employees of the Msunduzi Municipality waste management division downed tools yesterday and refused to collect refuse around the city, demanding a meeting with management to discuss issues related to the privatisation of municipal trucks.

Members of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) and Independent Municipal Allied Trade Union (Imatu), among other staff, told The Witness they want the municipality to revert to using their own trucks instead of leased ones.

They said the municipality seems to be heading towards privatisation by refusing to repair municipal-owned trucks and opting to use hired trucks. The Witness understands that management hired the trucks after some of its fleet was due for repairs. The hired trucks were supposed to be used for three months, but that has since been extended.

Staff members said the municipality plans to lease the trucks for five years.

The staff believe that this is a bid to enrich certain individuals. Although they were reassured that they would not lose their jobs, they fear they eventually will.

An employee who wished to remain anonymous said the council is spending a lot on leasing the trucks. He said rubbish trucks cost around R1 million each, but the council is leasing each of the seven trucks at R300 an hour.

“Repairs to one of the trucks were nearly completed, but the municipality was short of about R100 000 and chose to hire another truck,” he said.

Imatu shop steward Nhlanhla Dlamini said that if the workers are not going to lose their jobs, the municipality should reassure them by repairing the old trucks so they know that no jobs are threatened.

“Workers feel insecure about their jobs as the municipality refuses to repair old trucks or to buy new ones. Even the standard of service delivery has deteriorated since this lease system was introduced,” said Dlamini.

Municipal manager Rob Haswell confirmed that staff at waste management division refused to do their rounds.

He said that after having heard their complaints and consulting the relevant managers, he tasked the fleet manager to ensure that as many municipal vehicles as possible are available to reduce the need for hired trucks.

“The situation will be assessed again at the end of this month. As a result of this impasse, waste removal only commenced in the afternoon. The inconvenience caused to customers is regretted,” said Haswell.

The Witness was unable to confirm what the municipality is paying to hire the trucks.

thandom@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.