Pikitup day shifts to resume in some areas but strike continues

05 April 2016 - 15:54 By Palesa Tshandu

Pikitup‚ Johannesburg’s waste management entity‚ on Tuesday announced that it would resume day shifts in selected areas to deal with backlogs‚ but that there was still no end to the five-week-long strike. The unprotected work stoppage has crippled waste removal across the city‚ with Pikitup spending about R1m a day on private contractors who often work after hours due to safety concerns.Pikitup strike ‘anarchy’ can’t be tolerated‚ says Joburg mayorJohannesburg mayor Parks Tau on Tuesday said the “anarchy” caused by the on-going illegal strike by Pikitup workers can no longer be tolerated.The densely populated areas of Avalon‚ Central Camp‚ Zondi Depots in Soweto and Norwood Depot in the East of Johannesburg will receive a clean-up as Pikitup moves to address the high volumes of refuse‚ said spokesperson Jacky Mashapu in a statement.Hearings to start against Pikitup’s striking workersDisciplinary hearings against Pikitup workers who have “ignored two court interdicts and ultimatums” to return to work start on Tuesday."Plans are afoot to reintroduce dayshift services in other regions of the city. However‚ contingency refuse collection crews are continuing to work until late at night to remove refuse from households‚" Mr Mashapu said.The unprotected strike began in March following demands by the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) for a minimum salary of R9‚000 to R10‚000 per month.Samwu is facing possible sanctions from the Labour Court for allegedly failing to abide by the interdicts brought against the illegal strike action.On March 29 Pikitup began disciplinary hearings against the more than 4‚000 striking workers affiliated to the Samwu for ignoring dismissal notices and two court interdicts.According to Mr Mashapu‚ "The disciplinary process relating to the Pikitup workers got off to a slow start‚ with the union playing delaying tactics geared to frustrate the process. This resulted in the union withdrawing entirely from a legitimate process."At the weekend‚ Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau said the city would have to find an extra R1bn per year if it were to accede to the salary increases workers were demanding.TMG Digital/BDlive..

There’s never been a more important time to support independent media.

From World War 1 to present-day cosmopolitan South Africa and beyond, the Sunday Times has been a pillar in covering the stories that matter to you.

For just R80 you can become a premium member (digital access) and support a publication that has played an important political and social role in South Africa for over a century of Sundays. You can cancel anytime.

Already subscribed? Sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.