‘Resume duties today or face dismissal’ - eThekwini warns striking street cleaners
Durban - THE eThekwini Municipality has issued an ultimatum to hundreds of striking Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers, who have disrupted street cleaning services – leaving the city’s CBD littered with rubbish over the past few days.
EThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela yesterday blamed the filthy state of the city’s streets on the ongoing strike.
He said workers had been given until this morning to report for duty, or face dismissal.
“The city is currently experiencing the aftermath of the unlawful work stoppage by Expanded Public Works Programme workers that resulted in intimidation of permanent staff of Durban Solid Waste (DSW), preventing them from leaving their depots, and the gates to the depots were barricaded,” Mayisela said.
“We are in the process of addressing this and hope to have matters back to normal soon.
“The unit has issued an ultimatum to all striking workers to be at their workstations from tomorrow at 6am, or face dismissal,” he said.
“We understand the frustration experienced by our ratepayers and customers, and that drastic steps need to be taken. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and we ask that our residents be patient with us as we work to resolve this.”
Mayisela said DSW refuse collection had not been affected by the EPWP strike.
SA Municipal Workers Union regional secretary Xolani Dube said the EPWP workers had embarked on the strike because they wanted to be employed directly by the city.
Dube said the union planned to meet with eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and the city’s senior management “to straighten out” the issue – either late last night or this morning.
“The workers want to be in-sourced by the municipality.
“They work for various units in the city, such as DSW and the water department,” he said.