Pikitup workers raise stink about alleged corruption

Johannesburg’s rubbish collectors will go on a full-blown strike from Thursday, following numerous disputes with management, waste management agency Pikitup said on Wednesday.

“We are asking residents who do not have their waste collected, to please keep it inside their yard and be patient,” Pikitup spokesperson Pansy Oyedele said.

She said Pikitup received notice of the planned strike earlier this week, after go-slows at certain depots.

“We are trying everything in our power [to reach an agreement] between the company and the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu).”

Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema said about 2 000 workers were expected to halt services.

The union accused Pikitup, which is owned by the municipality, of being “riddled with corruption”, and of refusing to address workers’ legitimate concerns.

“We have tried all at our disposal to get through to management,” Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema said.

Alleged corruption, nepotism
“Workers are concerned about the department and would want for Pikitup to be free from corruption and nepotism.”

He said Samwu had in its possession documentation detailing alleged corruption and nepotism, including irregular tenders amounting to hundreds of millions of rand.

“Should management not agree to meet with us … we will be forced to make available to the public all [this] documentation … We strongly advise Pikitup to come sober-minded to the negotiating table and address workers’ concerns,” said Sema.

Other disputes were around wage disparities and the intimidation of union members.

Sema said most Pikitup employees were union members.

“We urge residents to bear with us in our efforts to ensure that Pikitup works better for us all,” he said.

Pikitup’s garden sites will remain open during the strike, but only for garden waste and not general domestic refuse.

People with the capacity could take general waste to the four landfill sites, which would also remain open, Oyedele said.

These sites were: Goudkoppies, in Houthammer Road, Devland; Marie Louise, in Dobsonville Road, Roodepoort; Robinson Deep in Turffontein Road, Turffontein; and Ennerdale, in Old Lawley Road, Lawley. – Sapa

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