The ongoing strike by South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) members in Amathole District Municipality, in the Eastern Cape, has dire effects on the delivery of basic services.

Workers affiliated to the union are striking over salary benefits. They are also demanding the immediate resignation of Municipal Manager, Thandekile Mnyimba.

“One of the strategic documents that we developed earlier and we are implementing for a recovery plan within the recovery plan we then said let’s engage unions on the re-catergorisation and standardisation because those processes were illegal and as staff and administration we are getting paid more than what we are supposed to be paid and that needs to be reversed so that the institution is financially sustainable going forward,” says Myimba.

The cash-strapped municipality has maintained that it is struggling financially to meet the demands of workers. In the rural town of Peddie where a municipal van and a truck were set alight, residents say they are feeling the impact of the strike as basic services have come to a halt.

The strike is now entering its third week. It has seen damages to property and non-delivery of services. As it intensifies, locals are feeling its impact.

One resident from the area, Sivuyile Menzeni, says life has become difficult.

“This is too much because even now there is no water in my house. Even now I need water to drink and cook all the houses in my area Ethembeni have no water I need water to drink for washing there is no water,” says Menzeni.

Samwu Shop Steward at Amathole District Municipality, Lorna Lubedu, has accused municipal management of dragging the process of addressing their needs.

“If really Amathole didn’t have money, your councillor wouldn’t have their upper limits but they did only the hardworking employees didn’t get their increment if really and did not have funds the municipal manager and his directors were not going to apply for their performance bonuses but they did that,” says Lubedu.

Ongoing strike impacts service delivery: