“The whole council including the mayor‚ the municipal manager and executive managers were held hostage. They were only released at 2am when the municipal manager acceded to providing means to pay all workers by 12 noon‚” Siyothula said.
“We can’t work for nothing. If we do not get paid by noon‚ we will close all services until the payments are made.”
He said workers were also demanding payment of their ’13th month’ cheques‚ housing subsidies and provident fund. “For the past three months‚ the municipality has not paid workers 13th cheques‚ provident fund and subsidies including housing.”
According to reports‚ the municipality invested R77m in the embattled VBS Mutual Bank. “The whole non-payment issue started with the VBS saga. That is the root of the municipality’s financial woes‚” Siyothula said.
On Wednesday night the West Rand district municipality denied the assertion that officials were held hostage by workers. Instead‚ the municipality’s leadership said that worker representatives and senior municipal officials were sitting behind chamber doors discussing workers’ salaries.