Water wasted during unlawful protest

While Ugu District Municipality employees engaged in unlawful protest action, water spurted from a meter in Marburg for some 20 hours.

WHILE millions of litres of water spurted from a meter for about 20 hours in Protea Road, Marburg a small group of Ugu employees embarked on unlawful protest action causing disruption to service delivery.

France Zama, Ugu District Municipality spokesman, said ‘available resources were activated to attend to service complaints received through the call centre to ensure continued service delivery’.

This was while management engaged with the union leadership to ascertain what the underlying causes for such actions by employees were.

“Our organisation is always available to engage in these matters but we must categorically state that we will not accept this behaviour from staff members who seek to cause disorder and undermine the integrity of this municipality,” he said.

Meantime, Deandre de Bruin made many calls to Ugu to report his elderly neighbour’s water leak late on Sunday. The drama began when a car veered off the road to avoid hitting a dog and careened into the water meter.

However by Monday morning the problem had not been solved and in desperation he contacted the Herald and his councillor, Ajith Rajaram for assistance. The leak was repaired the following day at about 5pm.

Mr de Bruin said a leak that should have taken less than a hour to fix instead took about 20 hours to repair.

He said that Ugu’s service was poor and that the municipality should have a back-up plan, especially during protest action.

“Water is vitally important as we are facing a drought. At the end of the day it’s not fair on the ratepayer, as we are the ones paying these municipal employees’ salaries.”

Mr Zama confirmed that since the interaction between management and staff the situation had normalised and ‘full attention was being given to ensure swift responses to service interruptions’.

“This action by our workers is indeed regrettable and we extend our apologies to the public who might have been inconvenienced by this action,” he said.


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Shona Aylward

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