Strikers wreak havoc in Durban

STRIKING municipal workers trashed Durban city centre during a march to hand over a memorandum to the authorities.

Thousands of SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) and Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union members wreaked havoc yesterday, emptying dustbins on to the streets.

They also brought traffic to a standstill and forced shops to close down during the protest, which entered its fourth day.

Traders who have stalls along West Street were forced to vacate them for safety. Police worked overtime trying to control the protesters.

The protesters sang freedom songs and shouted slogans, demanding a living wage. Some of their placards hurled insults at eThekwini mayor Obed Mlaba and city manager Mike Sutcliffe, referring to them as "greedy dogs".

"Sutcliffe and the deputy manager raised their salaries by 28percent and we only want 15percent" said some placards. "Away with three-year deal" others said.

Samwu chairperson Julius Nkwa-nyana urged workers to remain united for one common goal.

"We are fighting for the betterment of our working conditions. This is the main cause of this fight and we must unite for it."

Nkwanyana accused the eThekwini municipality of being the worst municipality in the country.

"They don't respect us," he said. "They forget that they are there not because they were elected by us but were appointed. We will not accept the agency terms they are offering us."

He said they won't move from their demand.

The memorandum was accepted by eThekwini deputy manager Loggie Naidoo.