STATEMENT BY THE MAYOR OF ETHEKWINI CLLR ZANDILE GUMEDE
DURBAN: As the Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, I welcome the court interdict that was granted against the illegal strike. I also strongly condemn in
the strongest terms the illegal strike by municipal workers. The damage to property and basic infrastructure during this illegal strike has seriously derailed our plans aimed at dealing with the after-effects of devastating floods.
Today, I officially attended the Provincial Prayer which was convened by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government to pray for the families of the victims of floods. Unfortunately, buses that transported families to the prayer were blockaded by rowdy elements claiming to be municipal workers. No matter how
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aggrieved anyone could be - it is wrong and uncultured to disrupt mourners.
I wish to inform the people of eThekwini Municipality that I have been part of meetings with workers in order to ensure an uninterrupted supply of water to our residents. Over the past three days we have also discussed the importance of ensuring sustained service delivery to the ratepayers because this is what they expect and nothing else. In addition, the City Manager Sipho Nzuza and his team have doubled their efforts to ensure that innocent people are not affected by the lack of water. The matter is administrative in nature but we couldn't sit and watch as a political leadership.
Last week, we reported the water situation to the Provincial Executive after seeing many communities without water and in his best wisdom our Premier appointed the most competent team to deal with the matter. I would like to thank the Premier and his provincial executive council for assigning MEC for Human Settlement and Public Works, Hon Ravi Pillay and senior officials to work with the municipality - organised labour and other stakeholders to address challenges associated with the relationship between the employer and the employees
In particular, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, as the municipality we are co-operating with the team assigned by the Premier to look into the whole recruitment process. The City Manager is working with this team and has made all the relevant information available for scrutiny.
I want to dispel the notion that the municipality favours Military Veterans and do not care about other municipal workers, especially those who are members of SAMWU. This is a blue lie and we believe that such a narrative is aimed at sowing division and weakening the municipality. Tony Leon must focus on Alexandra.
I want to reiterate our position that the Freedom Charter will continue to guide us on what type of an environment should this municipality create for workers under the new dispensation. Better living and working conditions for all municipal workers is not a favour but a constitutional right which the democratic government has to uphold at all times.
Decent work is the foundation of the fight against poverty and inequality. The creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods is central to the new government's agenda. As the municipality we are committed to ensuring the advancement of this agenda.
EThekwini Municipality will continue to ensure that military veterans, youth, women and people with disabilities are supported in accordance with labour relations act and Military Veterans Act.
Since Monday night, our employees, councillors and volunteers have been on the ground cleaning the city and trying to bring stability. No amount of sabotage will deter our hard working spirit, we will continue with the mandate that we got from the electorate. We will ensure that this city is clean and we will not tolerate any further sabotage and lawlessness.
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