Electrical contractors blow their fuse at eThekwini municipality

The ELECTRICITY contractors working for the municipality of eThekwini blew their fuse in the face of the city’s lack of work.

The contractors said they were working in the electrical division of the municipality of Ethekwini, building and maintaining the electrical infrastructure.

These also include 1,000 workers in the house service, connections, street lighting, fixed maintenance crew, panel revenues and metering sections, they said.

The contractors handed over a memorandum of demands to the city expressing their concerns.

“We have witnessed injustices and abuse towards electricians from the municipality. A decline in work standards and the work ethic of it. Decrease in revenue collected due to the termination of the contract of the personnel of the contractor concerned. Default or non-respect of the contractual conditions of the government by the municipality ”, indicates the memo.

Last month, Courier from Berea reported on a similar problem by contractors from the city’s water and sanitation department complaining of a sudden lack of work.

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Also in the note, the contractor says the city has stopped giving them jobs as the illegal connections continue to run unabated.

“The Revenue / Metering section has been on hold for more than ten consecutive months. This means that less revenue is collected for the use of electricity, which favors illegal connections, because why pay for lighting when your neighbor receives free electricity from the municipality, ”the report reads. note.

At a recent plenary council meeting, a majority of the ANC rejected an amendment by a DA adviser to have monthly meter readings.

Currently, the city takes a meter reading once per quarter (three months) and then calculates estimated figures based on it.

In council documents, the city said it has ramped up its graduate program, which will help capture accurate meter readings.

However, the contractors questioned the city’s strategy of training new electricians if there is currently no work for them.

The contractors said maintenance, street lighting, tree cutting and construction contracts had not been renewed since last year due to depleted funds.

Msawakhe Mayisela, spokesperson for eThekwini municipality, said they are still investigating the complaints and will respond in due course.

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Patricia D. Rutt