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Durban to make contract workers permanent

Aug 23 2012 18:41 Sapa

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Durban - The eThekwini municipality has promised contract metro officers they will be given permanent appointments by the end of the year.

"All contract workers who have been working for the municipality for over two years will be converted to full time employees by December 1," municipal manager Sbu Sithole said outside the Durban City Hall on Thursday.

The hundreds of metro officers gathered there did not respond well to the announcement.

They complained that the municipality had promised to convert them to full time employees by July 1.

On Tuesday, the Mercury reported that metro police had gone on the rampage in the Durban city centre.

They were demanding that contract workers be permanently appointed, and wanted metro boss Eugene Nzama removed.

The officers reportedly blocked roads, barged into the administration offices and threatened to burn down the city hall if their demands were not met.

They also toyi-toyied, banged on taxis and stopped cars from driving in Dr Pixley kaSeme Street.

Mayor James Nxumalo said the municipality would permanently employ about 2500 of its contract employees, including metro police.

Nxumalo said Sithole would manage the process to ensure all metro police grievances were met.

Sithole promised those contract workers over the age of 35 that they would also be given the opportunity to train to become fully-fledged officers.

"There is no one who will not be provided with the opportunity to go on training," he said.

Sithole told the metro police the municipality was dealing with the Nzama issue, but he could not talk about it.

"Not long from now, we will release a report which will address how we can bring stability in the metro police," Sithole said.

Nzama was put on special leave in July after metro officers went on strike. The metro police were not happy with his management style.

Disaster management head Vincent Ngubane replaced Nzama.

Nzama approached the Durban Labour Court to challenge his special leave and resumed his duties before his special leave ended.

SA Municipal Workers' Union regional secretary Nhlanhla Nyandeni appealed to the city to honour the date it had give the officers.

Nyandeni said the municipality should give the union a monthly progress report on issues it had raised.

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samwu  |  eugene nzama  |  james nxumalo  |  strike
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