A legal dispute with an employee has resulted in a local sheriff attaching all official vehicles on the premises of the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

Twenty-four vehicles, worth more than R2m are affected, reports TimesLIVE.

The attaching of the vehicles comes as a result of one of six different cases over adjustment of job levels, which have been filed in the Gauteng Labour Court, dating back to 2016.

The attachment order pertains to wages lost by the municipal workers as a result of the council downgrading salary scales, allegedly without following due process.

It links to a settlement agreement reached during arbitration proceedings and other legal processes.

Municipal spokesperson Makhosonke Sangweni said the sheriff’s actions were premature, as the council was given three months to finalise negotiations with the affected employees in the case – a deadline that is only to expire at the end of October.

According to DA MPL Kingsol Chabalala, the constituency head of Emfuleni North, the ANC-led council has spent more than R669m on labour disputes with its employees over the past seven financial years.

This was revealed by the Gauteng Co-operative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the provincial legislature.

Meanwhile the municipality’s bank accounts have also been attached.

On 29 September Eskom was awarded a default judgment against the municipality for the R1.3bn it owes the power utility for unpaid bulk electricity services, which form part of R1.9bn in debt owed.

Full TimesLIVE report