Alleged sabotage after water supplies cut

2014-10-25 00:00

WHAT’S the real reason behind the strike action at the uMgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM)?

That’s the question being asked following allegations of sabotage and the deliberate cutting off of water supplies for two days and the burning of cars in a parkade belonging to the municipality.

A source within UMDM believes the alleged sabotage of water supplies was to invite the wrath of the public on the municipality. He said a faction wanted the mayor, the municipal manager and certain councillors out. The source believed the conflict was related to power struggles within the ANC and the upcoming regional executive committee elections in November.

He said the reason being given for the strike is to do with job grading, a matter that has been in contention since 2010.

“Why is it coming up now and in such a hard-hitting manner?” he asked.

Meanwhile, residents of Howick West were irate as they had no water during the Diwali festivities.

A frustrated Shanitha Hethor said: “We carry out sacred prayers that require the entire family to bath first. There was food to prepare and dishes to wash. Our one holy day in the year was spoilt.”

Her sentiments were echoed by several other callers to Weekend Witness who asked why they were being victimised because the workers wanted more money.

By late yesterday, Howick West, parts of Hilton, uMshwathi and Camperdown were still without water. While UMDM spokesperson Mbali Ndlovu said their crack team had been working flat out, Hethor was not convinced of their effectiveness and said as fast as the water was being restored, it appeared the saboteurs were cutting it off again.

Ndlovu said new rounds of negotiations between the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and the Department of Co-operative Governance had resumed yesterday.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said a case of malicious damage to property was being investigated with regards to the cars being burnt in the parkade. Zwane said police were monitoring the ongoing protest.

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