Beach safety compromised

2015-05-18 07:42

CONCERNED members of the public have noted that eThekwini Llifeguards have not been manning Amanzimtoti beach for the past two weeks, putting the lives of beachgoers at risk. The problem seemingly developed two months ago when eThekwini exhausted their overtime budget.

Councillor André Beetge said that inquiries in this regard indicate that the problem appears to be essentially a financial matter in overlay with lifeguards’ failure to avail themselves for overtime duty.

“Following the Parks Recreations and Cemetery department’s premature exhaustion of operational budget, certain alternative arrangements had to be put into place to work ‘smarter’ yet remaining on top of service delivery,” he said.

Beetge said one such initiative was the restriction on overtime to the point of only accommodating the number of lifeguards actually required per shift, as opposed to whoever availed themselves for overtime shift, essentially resulting in “over-supply”.

“It is rumored that professional lifeguards, being dissatisfied with this arrangement, are now allegedly failing to avail themselves for overtime shifts during weekends. “While the matter is being investigated to the point of possible disciplinary action in terms of breach of employment contract, the municipality will engage with lifesaving clubs to fill the roster,” he said.

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