Residents and opposition parties are outraged that eThekwini municipality’s executive committee (Exco) has waived the ‘no work, no pay’ policy despite workers embarking on illegal protest action last month for two weeks.
Workers trashed the city of Durban after hearing that the salaries of Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) were to be doubled.
Using municipal garbage trucks to drift, they dumped rubbish in the CBD, sabotaged water and electricity infrastructure and blocked roads leaving some areas without services for two weeks.
Former premier Willies Mchunu estimated the damage of the strike to exceeded R3.5-million.
The IFP caucus leader Mdu Nkosi said the city would be setting a bad precedent if they paid the workers as there is no accountability.
Nkosi demanded to know who had decided to upgrade the veterans salaries and expressed concerns that strikers were going to be paid for vandalising infrastructure and intimidating coworkers.
DA Caucus leader Nicole Graham said that residents cannot be treated with disdain after being left without essential services such as water and electricity for up to two weeks.
Outer West Ratepayers’ Association chairman Tony Clothier said the strikers should be charged and fired for their behavior. There is ample footage of municipal vehicles drifting in the streets to be able to identify the perpetrators.
Should action not be taken and they are rewarded for their actions they will think it is acceptable. They should in fact be charged for damages, said Clothier.
Mayor Zandile Gumede is however committed to conducting an independent investigation and disciplinary processes will be expedited on all employees who are found guilty of wrong doing.