Rustenburg-Municipal services were disrupted at the Rustenburg local municipality in North West on Monday, after a contractor locked the gates at Missionary Mpheni Building demanding payment.
In a video footage shared on social media platforms, a group of men could be seen putting chains and locked the gates, stating that they had not been paid for 10 months.
“We are not taking anyone hostage, we only want our money,” one man said as he opened the gate for municipal workers to get out of the building.
Thabo Sedumedi, a contractor, said he had a water project with the Rustenburg municipality and was not paid for service rendered.
He said he had spent about R258 000 from his own pocket and his assets had been attached by sheriffs of the court due to non-payment.
“To date the municipality owes me R528 000, we want our money,” he said.
The group wanted municipal manager Victor Makona to pay them immediately or to give them a date when they would receive their money.
Municipal spokesperson Thapelo Matebesi said municipal workers were sent home while negotiation continued.
“The service provider demanded immediate payment, or reassurance by the municipal manager as to when they will be paid. To avert confusion, uncertainty and conflict that could arise between employees, service provider, security and police, the political leadership decided to return employees home, whilst management and service provider engage in talks with the objective to resolving the impasse peacefully,” said Matebesi.
“Police and security are on site, to monitor developments. It is anticipated that the situation would be resolved by tomorrow (Tuesday) morning,” he said.