Home News Sol mayor apologises for municipal strike

Sol mayor apologises for municipal strike

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“I appeal to all stakeholders to bear with us as we work hard to arrive at a solution with the workers.”

Mayor Patrick Mabilo. File picture: Danie van der Lith

SOL PLAATJE executive mayor Patrick Mabilo has apologised for the interruption of services due to the strike action of municipal workers.

SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) members embarked on a strike earlier this week, where tyres were set alight outside the municipality and raw sewage was spilt at the entrance of the building to highlight their dissatisfaction.

The strike action led to “fed-up” businesses and ratepayers threatening to withdraw payment for the non-delivery of services.

Mabilo has expressed concern about how the strike has wreaked havoc on municipal services.

“Workers are employed to render services to our communities and if they do not work the community suffers,” said Mabilo.

“We are aware of the dissatisfaction of workers in terms of the issues they have raised, namely non-payment of increment, capping of overtime to 30 hours per month, non-sitting of the local labour forum and so on.

“I would like to make a sincere apology to all communities, business, non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations and all stakeholders for any inconvenience caused during this time.”

He said a delegation from the mayor’s team had met with union representatives this week in an attempt to avert industrial action.

“It is our view that the situation does not justify industrial action, as residents have to bear the consequences. We, however, remain committed to resolving the issues amicably.

“I appeal to all stakeholders to bear with us as we work hard to arrive at a solution with the workers.”

Mabilo admitted that the city was facing a huge service delivery backlog.

“It is important to note that this strike action places further strain on an already dire service delivery situation, compounded by old infrastructure, theft and vandalism of our pump stations and the disposal of unwanted objects in our sewerage network thus compromising the entire sanitation and water networks.”

He said that an integrated cluster was formed to address water, sanitation, electricity, roads and stormwater challenges over the next three months in all wards.

“The municipality has engaged the Department of Public Works to assist with the repair of potholes. A technical team has been established to roll out a massive pothole and cleaning of ward programme to make a difference to our communities,” Mabilo added.