Marina Schoombee
3 minute read
18 Aug 2020
12:07 pm

Lekwa municipality seek court interdict over workers’ protests

Marina Schoombee

It is alleged that some employees are preventing their coworkers from going to work amid wage increase protests.

Burning tyres in Mbonani Mayisela Street was a common sight. Image: Marina Schoombee

The Civic Voice, who has three councillors debating issues, questioned the motives of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu).

“It was not an honest strike,” said Nicholas Selepe of the Civic Voice on Thursday, 13 August.

The union went on a rampage in town and scenes of burning tyres, overthrown dustbins, toy-toying were the norm. They demanded an increment of 6.25%.

The municipality indicated that a directive from national treasury said payments should not be done until further notice.

The community of Standerton had to bite the bullet as regards to service delivery and electricity interruptions, as well as intermittent water supply.

According to Selepe, the municipality has applied for an interdict against those employees preventing their co-workers from going to work.

The DA in Standerton and Morgenzon called for urgent intervention in the strikes, discouraging any forms of breaking the law through their councillors, Muso Kubheka and Sithi Silosini.

The estimated figure of R3 million for monthly overtime payments are alleged.

Selepe also said the party had requested information on the number of bodyguards for mayor Linda Dhlamini.

According to him, the mayor has five bodyguards and the speaker, Makhosazana Khota, also has bodyguards.

He added that only two bodyguards are allowed and that a risk assessment is required to employ more.

Both these individuals were the centre of controversy after prolonged political machinations to remove them from office.

Meetings between the municipal manager, Gugulethu Mhlongo-Ntshangase, and the Lekwa Local Forum allegedly do not take place.

The Section-106 report furthermore, in which a forensic investigation was done on the municipality, has been presented to council.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Mandla Msibi did the honours of handing it over to the local council.

Section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act states that if a MEC has reason to believe that a municipality in the province cannot or does not fulfil a statutory obligation binding on that municipality, or that maladministration, fraud, corruption or any other serious malpractice has occurred, or is occurring in a municipality in a province, the MEC must:

  • By written notice to the municipality, request the municipal council or municipal manager to provide the MEC with information required in the notice.
  • If the MEC considers it necessary, designate a person or persons to investigate the matter.

Such an investigation was requested in council in 2018 to investigate allegations of maladministration and corruption.

According to Selepe, the report was sent back to the administration for recommendations.

The FF Plus recently issued a press release on the subject, saying it indicates, among other things, that irregular, fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenditure took place since 2012.

According to the FF, the provincial government should have acted and already taken drastic steps in 2018 to immediately put an end to the financial mismanagement.

This article first appeared on Ridge Times and was republished with permission.

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