The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) wants an explanation on the role played by uMkhanyakude District Municipality’s staff in blockading the municipality’s headquarters.
On Monday, KZN Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka, visited the crisis-ridden municipality after residents in Mkuze shut down the Umkhanyakude District Municipality offices last week in protest over water outages.
Some of the municipality’s staff joined in the protest by blockading the Umkhanyakude offices with municipal water tankers.
Secretary of the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) in Umkhanyakude, Linda Sakha, told The Witness that workers were unhappy about the termination of cellphone allowance benefits for employees.
During Hlomuka’s visit, he raised concerns about Umkhanyakude’s councillors’ failure to provide solid leadership and stability in the municipality that has been plagued by infighting.
He called on councillors to rise above their narrow self-interest and place the needs of their communities first.
Also, Hlomuka requested a report on the current composition of the municipality’s council and the dispute which resulted in the municipal cellphones of workers being blocked.
“As councillors, although you are at the end of your term, you still have the responsibility to ensure that your successors inherit a functional municipality. You have clearly not been equal to the task the people bestowed on you. The remaining days of your term are an opportunity to address issues raised by your communities,” said Hlomuka.
He added that his department will not allow the municipality to descend further into chaos.