KZN premier to step in over alleged graft in Msunduzi

2018-02-23 13:30
COSATU supporters outside the premiers office on Thursday.

COSATU supporters outside the premiers office on Thursday. (Ian Carbutt )

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KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu will soon announce measures to deal with allegations of corruption at Msunduzi Municipality.

This was revealed as scores of Cosatu members marched to the premier’s offices in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.

The department of the premier’s director-general, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, said Mchunu will reveal his interventions to the Cosatu leadership on March 6.

Cosatu on Thursday demanded responses to grievances contained in a memorandum they gave to the premier in April last year. The grievances revolved around the dismissal of municipal workers who council bosses had allegedly accused of being affiliated to a rival ANC faction in Msunduzi. The union also asked Mchunu to look into widespread corruption and maladministration.

“There about 1 000 workers in the municipality who are currently sitting at home after their contracts were terminated. The municipality told them their services were no longer required. But soon after releasing the employees, the municipality employed other people to do the very same jobs,” said Cosatu provincial secretary Edwin Mkhize.

Cosatu, Mkhize said, was concerned about poor governance at the municipality. He said they the affected workers’ contracts were terminated for political reasons.

The auditor-general recently slapped the municipality with a disclaimer report, the worst audit opinion that can be issued to a government entity.

“Cosatu has insisted that government should always employ people who are qualified to do the job. If you allow factionalism to enter the workplace then you end up employing people on the basis of factions and not qualifications.

“That is how you end up with problems such as the ones you see in municipalities such as Msunduzi,” said Mkhize.

The protesters carried placards calling for the premier to deal with the corruption that is hampering the creation of jobs in government entities.

They were angry that Mchunu’s office had not responded to their grievances despite having lodged them close to a year ago.

“For us this displays arrogance and a lack of respect for the workers of this province. For quite a long time we have been raising the matter around the Msunduzi Municipality’s failure to deliver services, but no one has bothered to listen to us.

“As Cosatu, we have warned the provincial government about the impact Msunduzi’s failure to do even basic things like keeping the streets clean has on citizens and workers in particular,” said Cosatu Umgungundlovu cluster coordinator, Zamisile Giyama.

Giyama said scores of workers around the Pietermaritzburg CBD were losing their jobs every month as companies fed up with crime and grime relocate.

Mkhize admitted it has taken “a while” to respond to the grievances, but said a lot has been done since April.

She said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube will also be present in the meeting where the premier will be giving feedback to the Cosatu’s leadership.

Mchunu could not address the protestors as he out was out of town at the time of the march.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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