The Democratic Alliance (DA) has submitted a motion of no confidence against Buffalo City Metro (BCM) executive mayor Councillor Xola Pakati which will be debated on Friday January 25.
The vote was prompted by the illegal strike by the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) in November 2018. During the strike, there were allegations of property destruction, arson, and other criminal acts levelled at striking workers.
In addition, basic services such as water and electricity were interrupted for extended periods of time, with some areas being disconnected for weeks on end.
Social media was flooded with pictures from concerned residents showing rubbish piling up in the streets because there were no garbage collectors.
According to DA Eastern Cape premier campaign spokesperson for basic services Kevin Mileham, Samwu “held the metro to ransom” in order to force concessions which included a R10,000 pay-out to workers and the suspension of the “no-work-no-pay” rule despite the strike being illegal.
“It is estimated the Samwu strike – if the lack of tourism income is taken into account – will cost the metro almost R300m,” Mileham said.
Mileham said that the strike could have been prevented at a much earlier date.
“The fact is that the executive mayor could have dealt with Samwu’s complaints when they were submitted in October 2018 and could have avoided the strike,” he said.
“The people of Buffalo City Metro deserve better.”
BCM had not responded to a request for comment by the time of going to press.