Workers at the embattled West Rand District Municipality have embarked on a total shutdown according to media reports.

On Wednesday News24 reported that employees belonging to the Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Demawusa) and the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) will not render any services.

This comes after the municipality failed to pay salaries after it landed in financial trouble following its investment of over R70 million in the now liquidated VBS Mutual Bank.

Workers are demanding a permanent solution to keep the municipality up and running. The situation has been worsened by concerns that more than 300 workers will not be paid again this month.

No work from today onwards

Pitso Mogole, Demawusa West Rand secretary, told News24 that they have locked up all municipal vehicles.

“No vehicle will leave the municipal premises. We are not working, and no manager is allowed to work from today onwards,” he said.

The union claims that their meetings with MECs Panyaza Lesufi, Jacob Mamabolo and Uhuru Moiloa, who were delegated by Gauteng Premier David Makhura to fix the situation, have not yielded any results.

Civil action imminent

Samwu regional secretary Siseko Siyothula confirmed that its members would also participate in the shutdown.

Siyothula said that on Friday, they were told that an investor was going to deposit money into the municipal account, but it has not happened.

“Some municipalities have promised to each contribute R2.5m to assist the district and they have not done so. Our members are in fear of losing their properties.”

Siyothula noted that his union will be engaging with its national office to institute a civil action against the municipality for their actions.