Sabotage behind water cuts?

2008-08-28 00:00

There are suspicions that the water cuts experienced across the city yesterday could have been caused by sabotage during a work stoppage.

Members of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) at the Msunduzi Municipality’s infrastructure, services and facilities (IS&F) department downed tools again yesterday calling for the sacking of strategic executive manager (SEM) Phil Mashoko.

Staff in various divisions under the IS&F downed tools in solidarity with the water division in their second day of the protest yesterday, resulting in the neglect of services such as water and roads.

The Witness was inundated with calls from irate residents who were without water in areas that included Scottsville, Chase Valley, Oak Park and Mountain Rise.

The cuts were officially ascribed to burst pipes, but The Witness was told by some protesters there was a good chance that someone switched off the water to speed up the management’s reaction to their issues. This could not be confirmed.

Addressing the staff at the water division, Samwu member Lucky Zimu said the workers want Mashoko to be replaced because he treats employees unfairly and does not listen to their needs.

He said Mashoko is surrounded by process managers and supervisors who do not reflect transformation, and he treats black managers so badly they resign.

Zimu said there are many issues they are unhappy with in IS&F, including the overlooking of black people for promotion.

In the sewer division, for instance, he said, there are no change rooms for woman.

He told the staff they will convene a meeting with all shop stewards in IS&F, and later a meeting of all the municipality’s employees.

“We are not on strike we have downed tools because we want the municipal manager to address us on our complaints.”

Municipal manager Rob Haswell could not be reached for comment.

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