Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency/ANA
Durban - UGU district municipality has fired 28 striking workers after they allegedly did not report to work for three weeks. This was the second round of dismissals at the municipality in the past two weeks.

Two weeks ago it was reported that Ugu had fired 42 people from Harding (Umuziwabantu local municipality), which forms part of the district municipality.

This brings the total of people who have been dismissed to 70.

In a statement, Ugu spokesperson France Zama said they had fired 28 people from the water services, from the Park Rynie depot, who had been engaged in an unprotected strike for three weeks. He said the municipality had tried to engage with the workers but to no avail.

The strike was in support of workers who had been suspended for misconduct. The unprotected strike from last month was characterised by protests at the municipality’s offices, with the disciplinary hearings for the suspended workers being disrupted.

“This strike action included various acts of criminality, including alleged acts of sabotage to municipal infrastructure, leading to residents being subjected to prolonged water disruptions.

“This is continuing to have a negative impact on the livelihood of our residents, as water remains the inherent need of every human being,” Zama said.

He said they would continue with their efforts to maintain law and order at the workplace and any “irritation” would be met with “the might of the law”.

Earlier this week, the Daily News reported that Ugu said they had planned to dismiss workers who had not turned up for work.

South African Municipal Workers Union Ugu district chairperson Mthandeni Ngcobo said: “We were shocked by the fact that the municipality was fighting us.”

He said they planned to talk to the ANC to intervene.

Daily News