Workers accused of sabotaging refuse trucks

2010-11-18 00:00

WASTE department workers are tampering with refuse removal trucks in an attempt to sabotage waste removal in the city.

This is the claim being made by part-time refuse truck drivers formerly contracted by the municipality to attend to rubbish removal.

Randall Adams said that he and four others who also drove the trucks would find that the trucks had been tampered with when they started their 5 pm shifts.

Missing light switches, faulty hydraulic pipes and loosened wheels led them to believe that there were municipal workers who were sabotaging the vehicles because they wanted to earn overtime.

Asked if this had stopped them from going on their rounds, Adams said it did not.

“I’m a motor mechanic by trade so we used to repair the trucks ourselves and get them running again,” he said.

That is why residents used to hear refuse trucks running at all hours of the night, said Adams.

He said they used to work flat-out for eight hours making sure that all the refuse was collected. He said it is possible for current workers to attend to all the city’s rubbish in a normal working day.

“What they do now is work three hours a day and then go and sit around. It’s because they want overtime,” said Adams.

He said he and his former workmates are prepared to resume their part-time duties if the municipality needs them to because “the city must be clean”.

Adams said the biggest problem is poor management, as the workers want to tell the managers how to run the department; adding it is time for the municipality to toughen up.

They have already met management and members of the intervention team and given them a written report about the matter.

Brian Zuma, Msunduzi’s acting manager for marketing and public relations, issued a stern warning to workers: “Any employee found to be interfering with the delivery of this service will be dealt with, following the municipality’s disciplinary procedure.”

He said allegations that some workers are deliberately tampering with refuse removal trucks are being looked into as a matter of priority.

“We are investigating these allegations, and at the same time working out a plan to implement the waste removal strategy,” said Zuma.

On Friday The Witness reported that waste removal in the city is failing once again as truant workers are trying to sabotage a provincial turnaround intervention while they try to get overtime re-instated.



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