City manager Sipho Nzuza.
Durban - The eThekwini Municipality is struggling to deal with a backlog of disciplinary cases, with some still being investigated 16 years after charges were first laid against employees.

City manager Sipho Nzuza believes the severe backlog experienced by the City’s Internal Investigating Unit (CIIU) could have been reduced had managers handled some hearings on their own and not referred them to the CIIU.

In a report brought to the city’s executive committee yesterday, it was revealed that 300 disciplinary cases were yet to be resolved.

Nzuza told exco that a number of these cases dated as far back as 2003.

Nzuza said that about 100 of those cases were minor, and could have been handled by the line managers instead of being referred to the CIIU.

“Many of these cases started even before my time.

“When the cases are referred to the CIIU, the unit locks the case in and does the work of the manager. It could have been fear, laziness or maybe they had no capacity, so they pushed it on to the CIIU.”

The report found that by the end of November this year, 24 out of 236 formal hearings were heard while 12 out of 100 informal hearings were heard.

In his report to exco, Nzuza said the project team were implementing a Project Plan approved by council at the end of October.

This Project Plan includes recommending presiding officers and employer representatives for each case, and monitoring and progress reporting every two months.

Nzuza said some of those employees facing disciplinary action between 2003 and 2014 continued to work and were not on suspension.

Others, he said, had since resigned.

The Mercury