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eThekwini Municipality is ‘dealing’ with issues over the expired contracts of electricity contractors

eThekwini Municipality is ‘dealing’ with issues over the expired contracts of electricity contractors. File Picture.

eThekwini Municipality is ‘dealing’ with issues over the expired contracts of electricity contractors. File Picture.

Published Jan 10, 2022

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DURBAN - ELECTRICITY contractors who had been employed under the eThekwini Municipality, whose contracts expired last month, will know their fate before the end of this week.

The contractors met city officials on Friday. The city officials asked to be given until the end of this week to sort out the issue that led the contractors to protest last week.

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The contractors protested against the timing of and manner in which their contracts with the municipality had been allowed to expire.

They said it had been inhumane to be told on Christmas Eve that their contracts would not be renewed.

“We met the city officials and we were informed that no contracts were going to be extended and new contracts were going to be issued,” said Monwabisi Bandile Sibiya of the eThekwini Electrical Workforce.

“The city officials have asked that we be patient for the next week while the issue of contracts is being sorted out.

“We have resolved that the work that deals with faults can't stop in the meantime as we are very concerned about the impact of power outages on the community.

“We know that for some not having electricity is a matter of life and death,” he said.

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The issue and other service-delivery concerns have spurred some opposition parties to raise the alarm of a crisis in the municipality.

DA councillor Nicole Graham has written to the mayor to urgently request that an executive committee meeting be convened as soon as possible. “The municipality’s failure to ensure that electricity support contracts were in place means that electricity repair capacity has been slashed since January 1.

“This has seen a number of major protests and several memorandums being issued to the powers-that-be,” she said.

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“The turnaround time to repair electricity outages has increased drastically and several staff members claim that they cannot work due to threats.”

The mayor’s spokesperson, Mluleki Mntungwa, said they had met the contractors on Friday and they were “finding each other”.

He said he could not speak on calls for the urgent exco meeting, saying at the moment the city was occupied with addressing the issue of the contractors.

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THE MERCURY

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