Municipal workers down tools

THE uMhlabuyalingana municipality buildings in northern KwaZulu-Natal were deserted yesterday after employees downed tools, demanding their salaries.

THE uMhlabuyalingana municipality buildings in northern KwaZulu-Natal were deserted yesterday after employees downed tools, demanding their salaries.

About 50 workers have staged a sit-in at the municipal premises since Monday. They are demanding their money. The community will reportedly join the workers tomorrow in protest against "poor service delivery".

The IFP-led council is embroiled in controversy after allegations that senior officials and some politicians had "conned" the municipality into paying consultants and a contractor for the construction of a chamber and municipal offices. While some money has already been paid to the contractors, construction of the building itself still has to take place.

The municipal building will allegedly cost more than R6million.

Former MEC for local government and traditional affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu had appointed independent forensic investigators to scrutinise the financial affairs and "other irregularities" at the municipality before elections.

The findings have not been made public.

Municipal manager Eric Manqele confirmed that some workers had not been paid.

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