How long to clean up city as strike ends?

2014-04-24 00:00

HOW long will it take to clean up the debris left by the cleaners’ strike?

That’s the question many residents are asking following news that the cleaners’ strike has been suspended.

The union made the announcement yesterday after a week of filth engulfed shopping malls, hospitals, government buildings and the taxi rank in the city centre.

KwaZulu-Natal SA Trade and Allied Workers’ Union secretary Joseph Dube said they temporarily suspended the strike yesterday morning.

“We had a meeting with our legal team and they advised us that due to legal technicalities we needed to suspend the strike,” he said.

Dube said they would be communicating with their members on progress on their demands.

Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business CEO Melanie Veness said they welcomed the suspension of the strike.

“Businesses reported that the beginning of the strike was challenging until contingency plans could be put in place,” she said.

She said most businesses reported that it is currently business as usual.

Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism director Dumisani Mhlongo said their research last year indicated that many people migrated from the city centre because of “crime and how it looked”. “This included cleanliness,” he said.

He said they recently expressed excitement around the issue of the reduction of crime incidents and the Urban Renewal Programme as “we felt it would contribute to a city centre that is inviting to visitors and locals alike”.

“While we sympathise with the plight of strikers, we are concerned about the effect that this will have on the city and the environment,” said Mhlongo.

Umi Khan, centre manager for Liberty Midlands Mall, said the national cleaning strike did affect their cleaning service provider; but a contingency plan was in place to ensure little or no impact on the daily operations of the mall.

“We are now pleased to advise that unions have confirmed that the cleaning strike has been suspended,” said Khan.

Public relations officer for Northdale Hospital, Mandisa Dlamini, said, “We have been struggling for the past two days.”

She said they had to use their in-house cleaners and managed to keep the hospital a welcoming place for patients.


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