eTHEKWINI municipality has come under fire for demoting five acting senior supervisors after more than 10 years.
The five are said to have been supervisors at swimming pools but the responsibility was taken away from them last month.
Sowetan is in possession of a letter signed by Clive Swart, deputy head of parks, leisure and cemeteries at the council, confirming the demotions.
The letter reads: "This serves to confirm that your acting responsibility as a pool supervisor has been terminated with immediate effect and your last day is the 28/02/2010.
"The department would like to thank you for your contribution and service rendered, and you will be required to report to your substantive position from 01/03/2010."
Alex Zikhali has been a swimming pool acting supervisor for 12 years.
He said they were told that the position of a supervisor had been filled by a new recruit - an outsider - who will begin work next month.
"We were shocked when we were first told that we will have to relinquish our acting positions because some new people had been employed.
"We had also applied for the positions previously and went to interviews on numerous occasions," he said.
Zikhali is heartbroken. "I have never been summoned before a disciplinary hearing or received a written or verbal warning for incompetence or any complaint. I feel exploited," he said.
"My salary will drop from a level nine to a level four. I will also lose 12 years of benefits," said Zikhali.
His colleague Dumisani Xulu shared the same sentiments. He had been acting in his senior position for 10 years.
Municipal speaker James Nxumalo expressed shock, saying this was unlawful.
"I was not aware of such a thing and will investigate. I want to stress that it is not lawful and the municipality is one of the first to convert all temporary positions into permanent ones and to get rid of labour brokers," said Nxumalo.