The hundreds of former employees of eThekwini Municipality who were under the Presidential Employment Programme (PEP) and recently lost their jobs have warned of repercussions during next year’s elections if they are not given back their jobs.
On Wednesday, the employees who were axed earlier this month, marched to Durban City Hall, the seat of power for the municipality, to protest.
Among their grievances was that they had not been fully paid for the services they rendered before they were axed.
The ANC-run eThekwini Municipality axed them on October 10, 2023, citing financial constraints, but said it was looking at ways to revive the project.
The employees were assured that their outstanding wages would be paid on the next salary run on October 25.
However, some of the former employees claimed that they were paid far less than they were expecting.
One employee showed IOL a payment of R908.37, which was made by the eThekwini Municipality to her Capitec Bank account.
On Wednesday morning, the former employees marched to the municipality to demand answers.
In one of the letters which was directed at Thabani Nyawose, the Speaker of eThekwini Municipality, the employees said their salaries are still short by R2,000.
They also said their contract was cut without any warning, as such, they should be given a 30-day notice and allowed to claim from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
It was in the same letter, that they warned that their retrenchment would have consequences during the elections.
“We would like to put it on record that a letter was submitted, there would be serious repercussions that would have negative outcomes on the elections since PEP lose their jobs,” they said in the letter addressed to Nyawose.
When asked about the issue of the payments and the memorandum, eThekwini Municipality referred IOL to the statement it sent on October 11, 2023, after the former employees were axed.
Part of the statement reads thus: “The municipality has been hard at work exploring various solutions to minimise the impact on beneficiaries.
"eThekwini will continue to explore all possibilities so that the programme can be resuscitated as soon as possible. This includes engaging with the National Treasury to request for additional budget."