Ugu’s desperate water situation escalates

2018-06-14 06:01

THE ongoing Ugu District Municipality labour dispute is seemingly far from over as residents caught in the crossfire are left high and dry, with some having resorted to desperate measures to obtain water.

Residents in Gamalakhe have opened up a draining system manhole in order to access water to take care of their daily water needs after being without running water for about five days.

Residents on Toti Mahlangu street and surrounding areas queued up next to the draining system to access some bits of water. Meanwhile, interferences continued all over the district

“It seems that, overnight, some of the areas that were restored yesterday have been tampered with and we are working to bring those areas back online.

There are some areas that have been without water for the last 4-5 days which we will be focusing on,” said the Ugu District Municipality in a statement earlier this week.

Furthermore, on Tuesday, it was announced that the tanker services within the municipality have been halted after employees and contractors working on this programme were intimidated by a group of community members , that refer to themselves as a business forum, who demanded that these services be ceased with immediate effect.

The municipality said it was still engaging with the group to find an “amicable solution”.

“Currently the water tanker services are at a standstill till further notice,” read the statement.

During their latest media briefing at the municipality on Tuesday, Municipal Manager DD Naidoo admitted that the municipality and the striking workers were still in a deadlock with the workers as the workers refused to end their illegal strike unless the municipality reinstated suspended shop stewards. Meanwhile the municipality refused to meet for any discussions about their demands unless the workers returned to work.

Naidoo said a meeting was orchestrated through Cogta between the municipality and the shop stewards for Monday at 3 pm, however it was on the condition that workers report to work at 7.30 am that morning.


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“Workers at the Park Rynie and Harding reported to work however they refused to work. At the Marburg branch some of the workers arrived however they stood outside in demonstration and according to our knowledge that is not reporting for duty,” said Naidoo.

A labour court interdict applied for by Ugu has been issued to the workers.

The interdict declares the strike to be an unprotected strike and restrains the workers from unlawfully disrupting water and sanitation services and harassing or intimidating Ugu staff and management. Naidoo also discussed alleged threats to his family during the dispute and appealed to the workers to leave his family out of their grievances with him or the municipality. He admitted that the unrest was taking a toll on his family with the family even suggesting that he throws in the towel on the situation for the sake of their safety.

“I live with the belief that if it is my time to go I will go, hence you wont see me walking around with body guards or any affluent security measures. However I am appealing to the perpetrators to please leave innocent lives out of this,” said Naidoo adding that law enforcement would be dealing with anyone who posed a threat to him and his family.

He further said he would be legally dealing with racial slurs which have been passed towards him on social media and the municipality was looking into installing security cameras in areas with Ugu plants and systems.

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