Durban — The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) in eThekwini has expressed its concern over the state of the city’s finances following the lock out of Treasury staff at the Smart Exchange building because the City has not paid the rent.
The union said that when workers reported for duty on Monday morning, they were prevented from entering the building and were told the municipality had not paid the rent.
Speaking to the Daily News, Samwu eThekwini regional secretary Xolani Dube said the staff called them to say they were locked out of the building because the municipality owed money to the building owners.
Dube said the union was concerned about the state of the city's finances and raised it with the city in a march two weeks ago.
He said that if the municipality could not afford to pay rent for Treasury offices, the workers’ concerns were genuine because it meant the city would not be able to pay salaries. Treasury was a key unit since it also deals with revenue collection
“The City’s finances are in a dire situation and we have raised it several times. Two weeks back we marched for our performance bonuses, which the city had not paid for two years now. The mayor once called us a bunch of lazy workers yet the city was not providing resources for us to perform, like paying rent for offices we must use to perform,” said Dube.
The city has recently approved a R60 billion budget but it is not clear why there was a problem with rent.
The municipality is yet to comment on the matter. Questions were sent to the municipality. It’s response will be added once received.
WhatsApp your views on this story at 071 485 7995.