The eThekwini municipality said it has acted against workers for participating in an illegal strike which has left ratepayers without water and lights and roads into and out of the city blocked.

Since Tuesday, a number of municipal workers have downed tools over labour issues with their employer despite a court interdict preventing the wildcat strike and protest action.

The demonstrations have disrupted roads and service delivery across the city.

The workers, affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), have raised concerns about their salaries, saying they are not in line with what their counterparts in other metros are being paid.

Gugu Silana, eThekwini municipality spokesperson, said on Friday the “unlawful” strike has caused issues for the city.

“eThekwini municipality is concerned about the impact that the unlawful strike action has on service delivery and has put in place emergency contingency plans to minimise service disruptions to residents and business,” she said.

She said water and electricity provision and refuse collection have been negatively affected.

The city said its technicians were attending to power issues in Durban’s western areas, while suspected vandalism has resulted in water outages across the city.

“The strike has resulted in our technical teams not being able to finalise trouble shooting on the Northern Aqueduct to determine if there’s improved efficiency of water flow on the pipeline after the completion of the installation of valves on February 28,” said Silana.

Silana said the city has deployed security personnel to strategic locations to monitor and guard the city’s critical infrastructure.

She said the city is calling on police to adopt a “no nonsense” approach when dealing with striking workers.

“The municipality is currently instituting disciplinary action against employees who were identified committing assault, intimidation, damage to property and other serious forms of misconduct during the process of the unlawful industrial action in terms of the disciplinary procedure collective agreement,” she said.