City workers protest layoffs

2016-11-04 10:35
Rubbish was strewn across the streets in the Pietermaritzburg CBD yesterday when more than 1?000 municipal workers protested after their contracts were allegedly terminated.

Rubbish was strewn across the streets in the Pietermaritzburg CBD yesterday when more than 1?000 municipal workers protested after their contracts were allegedly terminated. (Supplied)

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Litter was strewn in the streets of the Pietermaritzburg city centre on Thursday when more than 1 000 municipal workers vented their anger after their contracts were allegedly terminated.

A reliable source close to the group — who are employed by Msunduzi Municipality under the parks and recreation unit — said the workers were told their contracts would be terminated at the end of November.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said she could not comment on the matter until the municipality received the complaints in writing.

“Nothing has been presented to the municipality so we cannot say these are striking workers. Until this happens, I cannot comment,” Mafumbatha said.

It is believed the workers were summoned to the Harry Gwala Stadium where they were addressed by a delegation from the municipality, which included representatives from the city’s human resources department, who handed them letters of termination.

The source said there were no specific reasons given for the termination but they were told they had to work until month-end. “The workers are extremely angry. They have been laid off just before the festive season and not even given proper reasons,” said the source.

Rubbish was thrown around and concrete bins turned over between the city hall and the A.S. Chetty building. They then made their way down the road before dispersing around 5.15 pm on Thursday.

The source said Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo made a promise to clean up the city earlier this week, but questioned how Njilo’s dream would be realised if the workers were being fired. “There is too much political interference in Msunduzi and if nothing is done then we will soon cry for our beloved city,” he said.

It is believed the workers marched to city hall and demanded a meeting with deputy mayor Thobani Zuma, but they were unsuccessful. This led to the group trashing the streets.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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