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Freedom Front Plus

Municipalities must focus on restructuring and discipline of overloaded personnel structures to ensure effective and reliable service delivery

Numerous communities in the North West have had to endure poor service delivery and the collapse of basic infrastructure for quite some time now as a result of maladministration and extensive corruption.

It has also resulted in regular incidences of unrest in communities, which in turn, lead to even greater disruption and it has nearly forced local economies to their knees. The interventions by the provincial government at certain municipalities have thus far not been successful.

And to make matters worse, various towns in the North West are being harassed and held hostage by the illegal strikes of municipal workers who are members of trade unions, which are alliance partners of the ANC.

The most recent trend seems to be illegal strikes by workers who are supposed to deliver essential services, like water and electricity supply. Recent incidents include sporadic disruptions in electricity services, which last for days, in Ventersdorp and surrounding areas.

It has resulted in great financial losses for farmers and businesses in the area. This week, a large part of Stilfontein did not have water because the workers in the water division of the Matlosana Local Municipality were on strike and refused to restore the water supply after one of the town's main water supply pipes burst.

These workers are striking because they want to negotiate for extra compensation because they, being essential service workers, have to keep working while other municipal workers have to stay home due to the Covid-19 regulations.

The FF Plus has repeatedly called on municipal managements and the provincial government to urgently take steps to once again establish discipline in municipalities and to cultivate a sense of work ethics and proper service delivery.

The fact that essential services workers are willing to exploit a national crisis for personal gain in such a cynical and opportunistic way just goes to show to what depths the morale among municipal workers in the province has sunk. Any attempts made by the provincial government or the municipal managements to rectify the situation obviously did not work.

To prevent the total collapse of services and infrastructure in North West, it is crucial to implement drastic steps in municipalities. Municipal managements must take the time to reflect deeply and find effective ways to get rid of the unnecessary "dead wood" in their personnel structures.

They should rationalise their service structures and take a firm lead to once again establish a professional, but smaller, workforce with strong work ethics. Taxpayers cannot continue to compensate an inflated and disloyal workforce for services that they simply do not deliver.

The FF Plus will continue to keep the pressure on in all levels of government so as to ensure the sustainability of towns and municipalities.

Contact details: 079 409 8342

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