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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Police arrest 13 for disruptive eThekwini workers’ strike

The eThekwini Municipality strike has crippled service delivery as the workers affiliated to Samwu demand fair wages.

Police have arrested thirteen people in connection with the violent and ongoing protests in eThekwini Municipality.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Nqobile Gwala said Sydenham police arrested the group, aged between 36 and 59 years, for contravention of a court order, damage to infrastructure and malicious damage to property.


“Their arrest came after a group of municipal employees had gathered at the municipal offices on Electron Road. They allegedly put sand on the floor and burnt trees. They were forcing other employees out of the offices and damaged the gate.

“The arrested suspects will appear before the Durban Court on Wednesday, 6 March 2024,” Gwala said.

Meanwhile, the KZN government said the cost of the strike in eThekwini is being calculated.

On Monday, premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, flanked by eThekwini major Mxolisi Kaunda, briefed the media about the ongoing demonstrations.

The eThekwini Municipality strike has seen thousands of employees affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) downing tools despite the city obtaining a court interdict.

The strike, which started on 27 February, has crippled service delivery as the workers demand fair wages from the metropolitan municipality.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Rubbish strewn Durban CBD − eThekwini to act as strike continues

Service delivery

Videos of trash strewn all over in the streets of Durban CBD have circulated on social media.

Dube-Ncube said the workers were in breach of the interdict and, therefore, in contempt of court.

“It must be stated that while workers enjoy such rights, those rights have limitations as well.

“It doesn’t give a right to infringe on the rights of other citizens nor the right to destruction of infrastructure and property just because one is exercising their other right. That must be clear,” Dube-Ncube told reporters.

Dube-Ncube said essential municipal services have been “severely impacted.”

“Since last week, the intimidation and continued attacks on non-striking employees have resulted in the city not being able to respond to faults and restore basic services such as water, refuse collection and electricity in the entire city,” she said.

The disruption of services around Durban caused by protesting municipal workers overturning refuse bins has left the CBD in a state of disarray.

Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa

ALSO READ: ‘Pure criminality, economic sabotage’: eThekwini calculating costs of ‘illegal’ strike

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