• CEO says they will possibly be paid before January 30th
• Retrenchment looms at the water monopoly
• Consumers –hit by severe water shortage across the country - likely to be punished by disgruntled workers
Still smarting from a debilitating nationwide water crisis that has dogged Water Utilities Corporation (WUC), the water distribution monopoly is too broke to pay workers' salaries, it has emerged.
In an email to all staff members dated 22 January 2015, incoming Chief Executive Officer Leornard Nxumalo told employees that they will not be paid their January 2015 salaries. Hardly two months at the helm of the embattled corporation, Nxumalo finds himself having to face discontentment in his charges. WUC has been paying salaries by 25th of every month. "Staff members are advised that there will be delay in payment of salaries on Friday 23 January 2015 as it was initially planned. This is due to the financial situation that the corporation is currently grappling with. The corporation is at the moment doing all possible to ensure that salaries are paid latest by Friday 30 January 2015. (Management is) currently working on a turnaround strategy (to) address these kind of issues," said Nxumalo.
A source at WUC said there was confusion and uncertainty among employees as they are not sure if the corporation will be able to secure funding to pay their salaries by the end of next week. He expressed shock that a public corporation could fail employees’ salaries.
The corporation's communication and Public Relations Manager Matida Mmipi said "the Corporation postponed payment of the January 2015 salaries from the 23rd to the 30th of January due to financial constraints it is facing. All employees on the Corporation's payroll have been affected and have accordingly been informed".
On the back of this financial crisis sources have already indicated that the corporation is about to roll-out a retrenchment exercise, which is – sources say – part of the turnaround strategy.