Plans to address service delivery backlogs after workers’ strike

Illegal dumping at the MarabaStad Retail Market. Picture: Jacques Naude Independent Newspapers

Illegal dumping at the MarabaStad Retail Market. Picture: Jacques Naude Independent Newspapers

Published Nov 9, 2023



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Plans are afoot to address the backlogs of service delivery in the City of Tshwane as the dust begins to settle after the unprotected strike for the past three months.

Mayor Cilliers Brink expressed the intention by the municipality to have newly-appointed senior managers rolling up their sleeves and sort out problems of service delivery created by the strike.

Brink said he held discussions with municipal manager, Johann Mettler, about service delivery priorities that needed to be implemented in the coming weeks, saying that keeping the municipality afloat was top on the list.

“The financial rescue mission is our important task,” he said.

“After this unprotected strike” the city was in a bad position, he said, compounded by recent rainfall causing more potholes.

“Our immediate task is going to be to fix urban management, (get) traffic lights working, streetlights working, fill the potholes and cut the grass to make us proud of this capital city,” Brink said.

With the new management in place, he said, there was a sense of commitment to building the capital city that works for all its people.

Mettler said: “My job is not really to talk but to do and there is a lot to do. We have a city that doesn’t look good.

“It is my job to get the team that we have just put together to get on this bus very rapidly so that we can do the most obvious thing and that is to clean the city.”

For more than three weeks service delivery was negatively impacted by the unlawful strike spearheaded by some members affiliated to the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) demanding a 5.4% wage increase.

The union has consistently denied that its members are on strike.

In some instances, things took a violent turn when suspected strikers torched municipal properties such as vehicles and buses.

Last week, a driver of the Tshwane Bus Services was held at gunpoint by an unknown perpetrator who also ordered commuters to get off the bus before setting it alight in Olievenhoutbosch.

The driver managed to escape unharmed but later on received medical attention and counselling.

Those behind the incident were allegedly illegal strikers who were called in by the municipality last week to receive their letters of intention to terminate their services.

To date, the City has dismissed more than 120 workers for participating in the unlawful strike.

The recent attacks didn’t deter the City from operating buses. Instead, the municipality vowed to continue ferrying commuters, saying that the security cluster, which includes support from the SAPS, Tshwane Metro Police Department, crime intelligence, and private security, have put up measures to oversee the efficient running of bus operations.

Last week the City recorded a gradual increase in Tshwane Bus Services shifts from 52 of 160 since resuming operations two weeks ago.

The A Re Yeng, on the other hand, has been operating at 100% capacity.

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