Joint Operations Centre formed for disaster stricken Ugu

2018-06-14 06:00

KWAZULU-Natal Executive Council Members convened an emergency meeting with the Ugu District Municipality, regarding the concurring labour unrest at the municipality, on Friday.

According to a joint statement released by both parties following the meeting, the workers’ protest has been characterised by disruptions on the delivery of basic services, emergency services and unexplainable municipal infrastructure vandalism.

A joint meeting of the MECs of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Community Safety and Transport, together with local mayors, met with technical teams from the municipality, the South African Police Service and local municipalities in an attempt to restore order and service delivery, but also to try and address the workers’ concerns.

The meeting established a joint operations centre that will operate around the clock to monitor the situation, restore basic service delivery and prevent any further threats.

THE OPERATIONS CENTRE HAS UNDERTAKEN TO ADDRESS THE SITUATION AROUND THREE MAIN ISSUES, NAMELY:

•To restore law and order;

•To restore water service delivery where it has been disrupted;

•To engage the concerned employees on the areas of grievances;

Based on the assessment of the situation on the ground, the meeting agreed that the situation warranted a declaration of disaster for the district of Ugu.

This declaration will effectively enable an urgent activation of all state resources to ensure that stability is restored in the area.

“Of critical concern was the disruption of water supply to the district, most critically the medical service facilities such as the Port Shepstone Provincial Hospital, among others,” said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

Senior police leadership present undertook to take steps including following intelligence information that could lead to the arrest of perpetrators of violence and damage to infrastructure.

Closed-Circuit Television cameras are being installed in the vicinity of all critical service infrastructure as a means to monitor and quell property damage. Mayors and councillors have been urged to organise community meetings across all the municipal wards in the district as part of the public participation strategy of government.

“We are taking the situation very seriously as it can result in life-threatening issues with the disruption to basic services such as water. We cannot tolerate lawlessness,” said Dube-Ncube.

She added that she had deployed a high-level team of senior technical officials from Cogta-KZN who will meet with employee representatives to ensure that, while order was being restored, the issues that had given rise to the breakdown of relations between employer and employee were addressed as a matter of urgency.

BACKGROUND IN BRIEF.

This past March saw some staff at Ugu District embark on an illegal work stoppage, in the form of a strike that was not protected.

The municipality had informed the striking employees, through their union, that, as a result of the strike being illegal, the “no work no pay principle” would apply and salary deduction would be effected in May.

Further to that, some 11 shop stewards invaded a municipal Growth and Development Strategy Planning meeting, after which they were given a chance to make written submissions as to why they would not be suspended and charged for gross misconduct and insubordination as a result of their actions.

The municipality has also been forced to reduce overtime due to the escalation of costs which the municipality could not afford, since there were Treasury restrictions on spending due to budget constraints across the board.

The aggrieved staff members responded by taking advantage of them who, being mainly technical staff, have disrupted service delivery to the public.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.