EThekwini Municipality has sincerely apologised to all residents and the business community that they believe has had to bear the brunt of the illegal strike.

The city has been left unable to provide basic services as per the norm in certain areas in the municipality.

Municipal workers embarked on the protest action last week following allegations that MK Veterans employed by the municipality were given undue pay rises.

The MK vets’ pay was allegedly increased from R9000 to R20000.

The workers caused havoc and trashed the city, resulting in R3.5million damage to infrastructure.

They also cut off water and electricity supplies, did not collect refuse in most areas and blocked major roads within the Durban CBD.

City Manager Sipho Nzuza assured residents and the business sector in a statement, saying that the eThekwini Municipality is doing everything in its power to ensure that services are provided unwaveringly.

Private contractors have been sourced to assist in restoring the provision of basic services in the event of disruption.

“We have already started with refuse removal in the city-centre today. Two private contractors and 100 volunteers have been brought on board to ensure all refuse in and around the city-centre is cleared within 24 hours,” said Nzuza.

“We are also prioritising refuse that is life threatening. We have also hired contractors to assist us in our endeavour to provide water 24/7.”

EThekwini municipality is appealing to all residents not to take out their refuse until the strike is officially declared over.

Residents are also asked to dispose of their garbage at the Mariannhill, Ilovu and Buffelsdraai landfill sites.

Residents are assured that tap water is very safe to drink and are requested to disregard hoax messages that are circulating on social media to the contrary.

The City urges all its employees to resume their duties immediately while the labour dispute is being deliberated upon at the central bargaining council.