Mechanical problems with vehicles bring Mahikeng municipal operations to a halt

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The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) says its members are unable to work in Mahikeng because the municipality’s fleet has mechanical problems.

Samwu members in the Mahikeng Local Municipality say they’ve reported for work for weeks but do nothing.

Service delivery vehicles stand idle at the municipality’s workshop. Many are broken and need repairs, while others are unroadworthy.

This has allegedly been the situation for more than two months and Samwu wants government intervention.

“We want to write to the MEC so that he must invoke Section 139(b) in the municipality in order for him to take powers of the council and transfer them to the municipal manager so that there should be stability in the municipality and also services can be rendered to the community,” says Samwu’s Modise Marumoaga.

Some municipal workers say it is demoralising to come to work and do nothing.

“Our workshop is full of equipment that needs to be fixed. We are coming in and out, but our management sees it as if we are not working and they ended up telling us that we should make a plan,” says a worker.

“It is disgrace and hurtful to tell your kids that you are going to work knowing there is no equipment,” says another worker.

The municipality has acknowledged the current challenges. However, it puts blame on the council’s failure to approve the budget.

“Some of them are standing with minor issues, but we cannot go to any service provider to say give us a windscreen or service our TLB’s because we are not sure whether we will be able to pay that service provider. Orders are there, but there is no money that can pay unless the council can sit and approve the adjustment budget so that the CFO can approve all payments to go through,” says Municipality Spokesperson Johnny Nkwane.

Council Speaker, Thedius Nebe has dismissed the allegation that council failed to pass the adjustment budget.

“They cannot excuse that they have been going to work without doing anything because of the adjustment budget. The adjustment budget was supposed to be tabled last week. All along they have been sitting without doing anything making excuses because of the adjustment budget. It is untrue. The council will sit tomorrow to pass the adjustment budget,” says Nebe.

The council is expected to have a sitting on Friday.