On-duty eThekwini municipal worker dies in Umlazi attack

On-duty eThekwini municipal worker dies in Umlazi attack

eThekwini's city manager has confirmed the death of a municipal employee after she was attacked, allegedly by striking workers.

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Musa Mbhele spoke about the ongoing workers' strike during Tuesday’s full council sitting.

He said the city has agreed with the municipal workers' union SAMWU that workers should return to duty while negotiations continue. 

Mbhele said they're hopeful more will report back to their posts from Wednesday. 

READ: Striking eThekwini workers to appear in court

"We have in engineering 70 per cent of the employees that are already participating in work actively, 30 per cent of them waiting for security to escort them to certain depots. Some employees are at work but cannot go to site, including the non-availability of water." 

Mbhele said the city is also in the process of filing a lawsuit against the leadership of the union for the damages caused to municipal property during the two-week strike.

"The strike has impacted the city badly. One employee has succumbed to her injuries, and she has since died after being attacked while she was performing her duties in the municipal cemetery in Umlazi. In addition to that case, there are two confirmed cases of attempted murder and assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm and multiple cases of threats and intimidation." 

ALSO READ: Ratepayers demand urgent action amid municipal worker strike

Municipal workers say they want their salaries to match their counterparts in other metros and are demanding a 15% pay hike.

The union and the city have agreed to hold a 14-day workshop on benchmarking and salary levels that the provincial Cooperative Governance Department will facilitate.

The mayor is due to give a briefing at City Hall on Wednesday to provide an update on the service delivery disruptions.

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