Inefficient Msunduzi criticised for ‘shifting the blame’ to workers

2017-06-21 14:17
“Workers have a right to complain. They were not paid on time and they complained and now they are being punished for it.”

“Workers have a right to complain. They were not paid on time and they complained and now they are being punished for it.” (File)

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Opposition parties have lambasted the City after a recent statement issued by Msunduzi Municipality blamed protesting workers for service delivery issues in the city.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha on Weednesday issued a media statement saying that all recent power outages and other service delivery issues were believed to have been caused by sabotage.

Since the long weekend, numerous suburbs across Pietermaritzburg have been plunged into darkness as the City’s electricity department embarked on a strike in solidarity with 49 employees who were allegedly suspended last week.

Mafumbatha said the City regretted the “ill-discipline and anarchy” of their workers in the strongest possible terms.

“We have recently put in place mechanisms for accelerated service delivery, with the passing of our credible budget, and the Integrated Development Plan, as well as a comprehensive spatial development framework. We have a sustainable plan for the city, for providing uninterrupted supply of electricity and other basic services,” Mafumbatha said in the statement.

However, opposition parties believe the City management was “only passing the buck”.

IFP executive member Dennis Ntombela said the municipality was trying to “shift the blame” to the workers when problems in service delivery existed “long before” the electricity department’s strike.

“They also cannot say that their budget was credible. We all know what happened with Nersa on the electricity tariff,” he said.

Ntombela said the municipality was suffering a “major problem” in that they were “scornful” towards their workers. “Workers have a right to complain. They were not paid on time and they complained and now they are being punished for it,” he said.

In the media release, Mafumbatha added that communities would see enhanced investments into strategic infrastructure.

She said such programmes, however, required disciplined staff and labour relations stability.

“We have a comprehensive programme for service delivery and we will be building roads, supplying clean water and providing many services,” Mafumbatha said, adding that the municipality was doing “everything possible” to ensure continued and uninterrupted service delivery.

Provincial DA deputy leader Mergan Chetty said the blame for the current collapse at Msunduzi should be laid “squarely at the feet of the factional in-fighting within the ANC”.

Chetty said they expected the collapse as immediately after presenting the budget, the chief financial officer and general managers for infrastructure and community services were placed under suspension.

“The sign of a crippling administration will lead to a domino effect, crippling service delivery.

“The current service delivery strikes, power outages, water shortages and malfunctioning of city services is indicative of a council under collapse,” Chetty said.

He called on the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube to place the City under administration.

“The political and administrative wings have collapsed. The budget is flawed,” he said.

Referring to protesters blocking roads, Mafumbatha wrote: “We call upon all our communities to avoid illegal blockages and [they] must work with the [police] to fight criminal conduct.”


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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