West Rand municipality emergency vehicles locked inside yard as employees refuse to work

2018-11-15 13:56
A fleet of vehicles belonging to the West Rand District Municipality standing idle at the municipal premises. (Ntwaagae Seleka/News24)

A fleet of vehicles belonging to the West Rand District Municipality standing idle at the municipal premises. (Ntwaagae Seleka/News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Those who find themselves in emergency situations on the West Rand could be in more trouble than they think because protesting municipality workers are preventing critical services from being carried out.

A fleet of emergency vehicles, several fire engines and community safety vehicles are under lockdown at the premises of the bankrupt West Rand District Municipality in Randfontein.

The municipality invested R77m in the now liquidated VBS Mutual Bank, despite facing serious financial woes.

Scores of workers staged a sit-in at the building.

'Can't attend to' emergencies

Pitso Mogole, West Rand secretary of the Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Demawusa), vowed that workers would not respond to emergencies as long as their dispute had not been resolved.

Mogole said private emergency companies would attend to accidents and would have to send the bill to the municipality.

"How are we going to go out and work when we are in deep financial problems? We have brought everything to a standstill. This municipality is expected to render essential services to the public. If we are indeed rendering essential services, then we should be treated as such. We have received calls of fire breakouts and we can't attend to them in this current situation," he said.

Yesterday, workers used the municipal fleet to drive to the office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura to deliver a memorandum which Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi accepted.

"Lesufi has made an undertaking about the assessment of the situation of this municipality. He said he was in possession of the assessment report. He promised that the municipality will be placed under administration," he said.

'We are on our own'

Workers are blaming the provincial government for not attending to their problems and rescuing the municipality timeously.

"They are clearly giving a silent message we are not essential. To date, we have not seen the mayor (Boysie Maneli) and other political leaders, heads of department and other critical leaders, here for a while now. We are on our own," he said.

Despite the municipality facing one critical financial crisis after the other, it continues to lease a fleet of vehicles and pays for fuel, forking out large amounts of cash to pay service providers, Mogole added.

"We are on duty by coming here daily. [What] we want [is that] when they communicate that money will be paid, we must be here to hear first-hand. These problems here are affecting us financially and psychologically. Some of our members are now suffering from chronic diseases," he said.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg  |  service delivery  |  protests  |  protest action
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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.

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.