Members of the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA). Picture/ Reuters

Durban - Employees at eThekwini Municipality’s water and sanitation department have downed tools following a lack of response and an explanation on the city’s decision to give pay progression to Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) employed in the department.

Disgruntled employees in this department, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, told the Daily News on Wednesday that various depots in the eThekwini east and west regions were affected.

“We have vowed to show these politicians that they can’t do as they wish at the expense of the poor majority. We have been waiting for them to explain how they reached a decision to increase people’s salaries from R9 000 to over R20 000. As this happens, these veterans have no experience. They were employed due to their political connectedness. For many years we have worked in this department but we have never seen such salary increments,” said the employees based at the Springfield depot.

The employees said they wanted the city to explain to them the process followed to reach the decision for the progression.

They said before implementation, the matter should have been taken to the executive committee for debate and then to full council for endorsement.

“This is just corruption. Where is the money coming from? Have they discussed the matter at the relevant committees and who voted for or against it? Those are the answers we seek from the management and the politicians within the municipality,” said the employees.

The veterans were employed in April last year as general assistants - level 4 (R9000) and were promoted to level 10, and the progression is in effect from May 25.

Earlier this month, members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) were assaulted allegedly by MKMVA members when they tried to probe the issue.

They were waiting for department head Edwin Msweli in the boardroom of the water and sanitation unit in Prior Road, central Durban.

The city had not replied to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Abraham Xulu, Samwu eThekwini regional chairperson said they were engaged in a meeting with the city officials, and that he could only comment after the meeting.

Daily News