Workers snoozing on the job give the municipality a bad name

2014-01-20 00:00

Sleeping on the job

WARD 30 committee member Raj Seepersad was driving down Brixham Road, Orient Heights, at about 8.30 am last Monday morning and spotted municipal workers asleep in a van clearly marked “Roads and Drainage”. He drove past an hour later and they were still sleeping.

Civic-minded Seepersad confronted the workers and they told him what they did was none of his business.

“I told them it was my business as I was from the ward committee. They said it was raining and I pointed to others who were working in the rain. I told them that if they could not work because of the rain, then surely they should be back in the office doing something else,” he said.

Seepersad added that it was workers like the ones he came across that gave the municipality a bad name.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda responded: “The matter will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with internally. We wish to thank and encourage the public for bringing such matters to our attention.”

Security guarding substations

Witness Warriors received several calls from people asking about security guards sitting near the Copesville substation.

According to the municipality, the KSA security vehicle is guarding the substation against vandalism and theft of electricity and copper cables.

Madonda reminded readers of the incident at the Mason’s Mill substation where an explosion as a result of copper theft had resulted in the death of a municipal worker.

We certainly seem to be living under siege in Msunduzi when basic facilities like sub-stations have to be guarded.


meter-reading woes

What more is there to say about this never-ending meter-reading saga than publish the frustration of residents?

Perhaps this can be used as a barometer to gauge the depth of the problem so that civic bodies can take this up as an issue at a later stage if needs be.

Sandy Spires writes: “You did an article not so long ago with regards to meter readings. Well, nothing has been resolved. We submit our readings each and every month only for them to take the previous reading from a few months back and the current reading is correct, so you have to cough up two or three months’ usage. You can contact the call centre only to have the person tell you to pay and then put in a complaint. All fine and well, but who has an extra R1 000 lying around these days.”

Spires reports of a person at her father’s work who got his electricity bill — instead of the reading being 3 679, it was put down as 9 736. The person was hit with a bill of R193 000. His call elicited the same standard response — pay first and log a complaint. Who has R193 000 lying around to pay, Spires asked and why were the staff not taught to use their discretion when dealing with astronomical amounts that must surely be a problem.

She cited another example where another transcribing error left the resident with a bill of R650 000. The person has been trying to sort out this matter since November to no avail. Witness Warriors has asked for the details to take up these cases.

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