DA calls for eThekwini mayor Kaunda Mxolisi to step down amid workers’ strike

The DA is calling for eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda to step down. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya / Independent Newspapers

The DA is calling for eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda to step down. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya / Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 13, 2024


The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal is calling for eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda to step down.

The call comes as the protracted strike by aggrieved City workers enters its third week, with rubbish lining the streets of Durban. Meanwhile, there are allegations that non-striking workers are being attacked when reporting for duty. According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), 13 City workers have been released on R2,000 bail each after they were arrested for public violence; and tampering, damaging, or destroying essential infrastructure.

In a media statement just hours before Kaunda is expected to address the media on the City’s plan of action, the DA’s Chris Pappas said the only viable solution to this escalating crisis is for the mayor to step down.

“He needs to make way for a leader ready and able to rescue this city. The mayor has failed in his executive duties, and his continued presence in office is a disservice to the people of eThekwini.

“We need leadership that is capable of addressing these issues head-on, leadership that puts the wellbeing of its citizens above all else," said Pappas, the DA KZN Premier candidate.

The DA has tried and failed in its attempts at a motion to dissolve the eThekwini council.

Pappas said eThekwini was suffering from widespread and prolonged water and electricity outages, severely impacting residents' lives.

"The lack of reliable access to clean water is a fundamental breach of human rights and poses serious health risks, while electricity outages compromise safety and economic activity. Moreover, the sewage problems plaguing our city contribute to the potential spread of diseases, further endangering the health of our community," he added.

Pappas said the situation is exacerbated by widespread industrial action among municipal workers.

“Strikes and protests, while indicative of deeper systemic issues within our municipal governance, have led to garbage piling up in the streets. This not only detracts from the beauty of our city, but also poses significant health risks as it becomes a breeding ground for pests and diseases,” he said.

Furthermore, residents of eThekwini find themselves in a city that is increasingly neglected, with water and electricity outages going unattended.

Pappas said the inaction of the current administration has effectively incapacitated the city which is the economic heart of KZN, rendering it unable to meet the basic needs of its people. This is not just a failure; it is a dereliction of the duty owed to every citizen of eThekwini.

The illegal strike began on February 27 and workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) are demanding pay parity to that of Ekurhuleni Municipality and/or implementation of Category 10 pay scales.

Mayor Kaunda is expected to provide a detailed service delivery recovery plan after the protracted illegal strike action by City workers.