KDM promises service despite Salt Rock strike

About 15 KDM staff are striking outside the Salt Rock municipal office.

The KwaDukuza municipality (KDM) has assured the public that turnaround times for building and town plans will not be affected by the ongoing strike involving staff from the economic development and planning department (EDP).

Municipal staff have been striking outside the Salt Rock municipal office, over, among other things,  “unrealistic deadlines” recently imposed on them since Monday.

The EDP unit is responsible for the town’s building control, town planning, local economic development and tourism sections.

According to one of the striking employees, Sbu Mhlongo, they are unhappy with the order that building plans are to be completed within seven days of KDM having received them.

“When we try to meet those deadlines, we make mistakes and are getting charged. Some of these instructions are really unreasonable.”

The strike affects only the Salt Rock office at the moment but the motor vehicle licensing department remains open.

KDM media liaison officer Sipho Mkhize said after public outcry, the KDM council made improvements to the turnaround times for building plans.

He said the strike would not affect the new stance as only 30 per cent of the staff from EDP were striking.

“If the staff are now protesting against these measures, as Council we believe that the timelines are reasonable and are there to ensure that the municipality complies with the National Building Regulations and other legislations which are prescriptive in terms of approval.”

Mkhize said the strike was illegal and that the staff would not be paid for the time that they are not at work.

Municipal officials are committed to meet with the municipal workers union,  SAMWU, provided the staff return to work.

“We will not change our approach on ensuring that we are able to meet the expectations of our investors and general public.

“We want to ensure that we remain a top-performing municipality when it comes to town planning and building control function.”


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Erica Abrahams

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