More than 100 protesters blocked all entrances to Durban’s city hall on Thursday, preventing councillors from entering and leaving the building.
Metro police had to step in to enable the councillors, who were scheduled to attend an executive committee meeting, to enter the building.
It is understood the group had gathered to voice their anger about allegedly not being paid by refuse-removal contractors, related to a dispute in Umlazi.
Ethekwini municipality spokesperson Mandla Nsele said in a statement on Sunday that the city manager, Sipho Nzuza, had decided to do away with private contractors to ensure uninterrupted refuse removal in the sprawling township, which has been plagued by the refuse issue.
“This after waste collection in the township has been plagued by numerous challenges to the detriment of residents,” said Nsele.
On Thursday, Nsele told TimesLIVE he was not aware of the protest outside city hall and requested that a media query be sent to the city.
Provincial police spokesperson Lt-Col Thulani Zwane said about 150 people had gathered outside the city hall by 9.30am.
“They have their own grievances with the municipality. Police are monitoring the situation,” he said.
DA caucus leader in the municipality Nicole Graham said she managed to enter the building with the assistance of metro police officers.
“Some of our councillors were already inside and couldn’t get out when the protest started.
“Our understanding is that the protesters are employees of the Umlazi refuse contractors and that they haven’t been paid. The other gripe is that now the city has embarked on insourcing, they claim they have not been consulted,” said Graham.