Sewage dumped at municipal office

2011-05-17 14:25

Protesting municipal workers today dumped raw sewage in the Mangaung local municipality’s head office, resulting in its closure for the day.

Hundreds of municipal workers loafed around the Abraham Fischer building, while some danced, sang and displayed placards. A large number of police officers, some in riot gear, were present.

Slogans on some of the placards urged Free State Premier Ace Magashule to get rid of Mangaung municipal manager Sandile Msibi.

Yesterday, workers scattered household rubbish at the offices.

Today they came back with rubbish and sewage, which they dumped inside the building.

Municipal spokesperson Qondile Khedama said services at the offices, which include payment of water and lights accounts, would resume on Thursday after local government elections.

SA Municipal Workers’ Union spokesperson Pule Molalenyane alleged that Msibi had ignored labour agreements, and had broken a ban on using private lawyers in municipal labour disputes.

An agreement between the municipality and union that dismissed workers be re-employed had also been ignored, the union alleged. There was also unhappiness about various senior management appointments.

Molalenyane said a “general revenue manager” with “scarce skills” had been appointed. The union however discovered the person only had a Grade 12 certificate, and was receiving a yearly salary of R1.4 million.

“How can you not make noise if this happens in the billing department?” Molalenyane asked, claiming that in this department more appointments were made without the proper qualifications.

“This nepotism must go.”

Reacting to the agreements between the workers and the municipality, Khedama said committees appointed to look into the matter had made “significant progress”.

Molalenyane said the workers had agreed not to disrupt local government election preparations at the building. They would be back protesting at the building on Thursday.

Several services at the municipality had been disrupted since last week due to the protests.

Mangaung’s electricity provider, Centlec, had been unable to attend to resident’s inquiries about electricity problems. 

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