Striking workers trash Pietermaritzburg

Striking municipal workers littered the streets of central Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday and forced several roads to be closed.

Police officers cordoned off the area around Commercial and Langalibalele streets, while attempts were made to clear roads and sidewalks.

Msunduzi municipality spokesman Brian Zuma acknowledged the strike was affecting services.

Traffic in the CBD was disrupted when traffic lights went out on Albert Luthuli Street, one of the city’s busiest. He denied suggestions foul play was behind the outages.

“We have established that one of the transformers had problems and this resulted in the outages in some parts of the city,” Zuma said.

The municipality would use independent contractors to attend to water and electricity-related problems.

Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal called on the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) to call its members to order. With the strike on its second day, DA leader Sizwe Mchunu expressed concern at the amount of filth in the city.

“We call on Samwu to immediately rein in its members. While strikers have a right to declare their grievances, this has to be done in a peaceful and non-destructive manner.”

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