The Ugu District Municipality has confirmed that it has implemented a ‘back to basics’ turnaround strategy aimed at resuscitating the municipality and to save it from its current cash flow predicament.
It confirmed what Municipal Manager DD Naidoo told eHowzit in an interview last week — the Ugu District Municipality was bankrupt ‘due to living a life it could not afford’. In a statement the municipality said the methods to get the municipality out of its bankrupt state had been a bitter pill for the workers’ union SAMWU to swallow, hence the illegal strike action. Ugu said it had received a memorandum of grievances from SAMWU, which outlined their dissatisfaction regarding various stringent correctional measures practiced by the administrative leadership. The municipality was working closely with an intervention team appointed by Cogta which had advised that, as part of the ‘Back to Basics Turnaround Strategy, Ugu should significantly reduce staff related costs.
Ugu’s fleet and overtime management were some of the identified areas that needed urgent intervention. “Our fleet section is one of the contributing factors to the organisation’s bankruptcy. We have put in place stringent measures in managing the organisation’s fleet. The planned changes will be uncomfortable to a number of people, but this is change that must take place no matter how uncomfortable it may be for the survival of this organisation.”
The municipality had also taken drastic action to reduce overtime costs that had already run into millions into the new financial year. “The cost of overtime is horrendous, and this must be reduced to a minimum for this municipality to survive.” The municipality was scheduled to meet with the Intervention Team on Thursday to discuss the strategy, and its impact on the current situation. “We are instilling a culture of doing more with less, and together we can do more.”
Lencel and Bev’s cameras were at the protests on Monday, and we bring you some of the sights and sounds of the action during which the Samwu workers threatened to strike if their grievances weren’t attended to. They demanded that Municipal Manager address them, but although he emerged from the building, the workers were eventually addressed by the local political leadership………..but Speaker Sithembiso Cele, Mayor Ntombifikile Gumede flanked by Deputy Mayor Mondli Chiliza and other senior officials, had a hard time trying to convince them to agree to enter into discussions about their grievances…….