Joburg garbage collectors on strike

2011-04-07 10:02

Johannesburg - Refuse collectors in the city, employed by waste management agency Pikitup, began their full-blown strike on Thursday morning, the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) said.

Spokesperson Tahir Sema said about 2 000 workers were busy gathering for a meeting on the first day of the strike.

He could not immediately confirm the meeting point, however Johannesburg Metro Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said that workers were expected to gather in Joubert Park.

Pikitup received the strike notice earlier this week, after workers embarked on a go-slow in certain areas.

Agency accused of corruption

Workers have accused Pikitup of being "riddled with corruption", and of refusing to address workers' legitimate concerns.

"Workers are concerned about the department and would want for Pikitup to be free from corruption and nepotism," Sema said.

Other disputes were around wage disparities and the intimidation of union members.
Sema said most Pikitup employees were union members.

Pikitup spokesperson Pansy Oyedele said on Wednesday that the company tried everything in its power to reach an agreement with Samwu.

She said that management met with Samwu on Wednesday to try and find a way forward.

However, Sema said Samwu repeatedly made calls for an urgent meeting with Pikitup, to no avail.
"Management has refused to meet with us," he said.

What residents can do

Meanwhile, Pikitup asked residents who do not have their rubbish collected during the strike to be patient, and to keep it inside their yards for the time being.

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

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.

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

Oyedele could not detail contingency plans in the event of an extended strike.

  • Archer - 2011-04-07 10:12

    ANC! Supporters!!! Please Comment on this one! You are not allowed to blame it on Apartheid!

      TheEmperorWithanO - 2011-04-07 10:26

      these stupids are protesting over corruption??? why not go to the police then if they have proof??? there is no corruption here get bad to work you useless lazy bums.....

      Maki - 2011-04-07 10:46

      Sure- A workers right to protest is enshrined in the constitution and they have every right to voice their complaints. Muncipal tax is too low to pay workers the right amount. By charging more tax we can avoid these strikes. You get nothing if you pay nothing.

      Kristi10 - 2011-04-07 11:45

      @Maki - You are obviously NOT a tax payer...

      K@K Praat? - 2011-04-07 12:05


      Matthew Dean - 2011-04-07 13:00

      @ Maki - I can understand your point if such a worker was getting R1000 a month. But the strikes are crazy. I used to take the bus to work and they were always striking for more money. They can earn up to R8000 a month. There are plenty of people in SA who go to office jobs and get treated like dirt, they had to have some sort of skills and education which cost them money, to get lower wages than these "poor" bus drivers. As for the municipal workers, they strike because they can. They get increases far above inflation but still go on the rampage. They don't hold signs and shout "we want more", they vandalise public and private property and assault innocent people. Personally, I say sack the lot of them when they do that, and give the jobs to those who genuinely want them. And municipals don't do go-slow, because they do that on a daily basis anyway...

  • Frank - 2011-04-07 10:13

    Fire THEM ALL...... We have enough unemployed that can take over.....

      Bosduif - 2011-04-07 10:39

      Sorry dude the skill set for this job is too demanding.

      WCD - 2011-04-07 11:03

      Yes they will all demand university degrees, medical schemes, BMW's and sushi parties!

  • Viv - 2011-04-07 10:17

    and while they strike our pavements look like squatter camps!! Will we get a rebate on the municipal accounts??? Somehow I dont think so. I pay for a bloody service and I expect Pikitup to make a plan if their pathetic workers are striking.

      Smindlo - 2011-04-07 10:23

      no, in fact rates are going up soon!!!

      Darryl Lombard - 2011-04-07 13:08

      If they charge us for a serviceb theydo notprovide I suspect they will be in breach of the new Consumer Protection Act. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • Tantrum - 2011-04-07 10:17

    Now the ANC and their followers can live the way they are suppose to - in filth ..

  • marden - 2011-04-07 10:18

    i didn't know that pikiyup was a division of the ANC it is funny to see these people strike, they know that everyone above them is corrupt and yet they still vote for the dumbest bunch of liers,thieves and thugs.

      marden - 2011-04-07 10:19

      correction "pikitup"

  • White_Rhino - 2011-04-07 10:20

    Wasteful ANC mismanagement of funds again. No surprise there. This lot is also more on strike than at work. They also want a slice of the corruption pie ??

  • Dave - 2011-04-07 10:20

    So our bins have been left out since Monday and we are told now, and no contingency plans.......

  • Smindlo - 2011-04-07 10:22

    dont worry you Jorburgers, you have not seen nothing yet. we had uncollected refuse for four weeks on the East rand until the DA came to our vote wisely next month!!!

      Graham - 2011-04-07 10:44

      Funny that, as far as I am aware the DA won our ward in last election, with our votes, and nothing is being done about our refuse that has not been collected for over two weeks now. What do these F#@kin politicians do once we vote them in?...nothing.

      Smindlo - 2011-04-07 10:54

      @Graham, the refuse collection tender was fraudulently given to tenderpreneur at Pikitup, so your ward councillor can not do much there. I feel sorry for some areas in Edenvale the DA councillors have arranged with locals to have refuse collected. mind you, we had uncollected refuse for four weeks when the SAMWU clowns decided to go on strike.

      Kristi10 - 2011-04-07 11:49

      @Smindlo - I stay in a DA ward and the councilor has done NOTHING about the situation in fact we were not given any information. She could have at least put up notices to tell us where the landfills are so that we would know to make a plan ourselves.

      Smindlo - 2011-04-07 11:57

      @Kristi10, the JHB mayoral candidate did utter something last week to that effect, that there is probably an indefinite strike planned by SAMWU on the way. it was planned so the ANC will have no choice but to concede to these clowns demands as the elections are just around the corner. FACT is, this kind of things should never happen in the first place. we must get services for the exhorbitant rates we pay already. I am not trying to justify your councillor inaction, however the cockup started right from the top...remember billing crisis? whats working in the City of JHB? at least I know for sure nothing works in Ekurhuleni as I stay there!! took them over two weeks to fix a MASSIVE hole last year next to the Greenstone mall. and now we already have two big potholes that are getting bigger by the day and I bet to you they wont be fixed by monday!!

      Kristi10 - 2011-04-07 12:21

      @Smindlo - Thank you. I agree with you that we should get the service we are paying a lot for. However if we had some information from our coucilor instead of her phone being off all the time we would have tried to make a plan with our garbage. I already have taken my recyclable waste (paper, glass etc) to Delta park (I do that in any case once a week) With more info myself and my neighbours would have known what to do e.g. get together and pay a private contractor (like Ace of Waste last year) to remove the waste. We are meeting tonight though to see what can be done as a interim plan.

  • Egg-Zachary - 2011-04-07 10:23

    I must be patient!!?!! My rubbish has not been collected for 2 weeks now and to make matters worse, the bums (who probably vote ANC) are rummaging through the bags and leave it open! ...and I must pay these a$$holes every month to do nothing! I will be dumping my rubbish outside (never)pikitup on saturday, I urge you all to do the same!

      Kristi10 - 2011-04-07 11:51

      Good plan then after the strike they will strike again because now they have to clean up double the amount of garbage. It happened last year and the goverment had to use private contractors to remove the backlog of garbage.

  • BattyBoy - 2011-04-07 10:24

    We're in Douglasdale, and it's been almost 3 weeks that we've waiting for our rubbish to be collected. Take a drive through, the stuff is spilling out onto the streets at this point..

  • marden - 2011-04-07 10:25

    why should people pay their hard earned money for services that might or might not be delivered its an absolute disgrace

  • Grant - 2011-04-07 10:26

    And at what time does the trashing of the city center, looting of shops/stallholders begin?

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-04-07 10:29

    Samwu is a Cosatu affiliated union....I wonder what's Vavi's take on this ?

  • Joy - 2011-04-07 10:30

    Fire all of them, and replace them with the masses of unemployed who would jump at the chance of making a living !

      Scout - 2011-04-07 11:10

      Could not agree with you more !

  • Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-04-07 10:31

    Service delivery ANC style.... This is funny as anything, right before the elections they do this. Maybe the DA should hire them to run their campaign for them, they are doing a great job to promote DA run municipalties..

  • South_Africa - 2011-04-07 10:34

    Cant help but to think how quickly Hellen would have sorted this out!!

      My Comment - 2011-04-07 12:04

      This "toilet" excuse is boring these days Maki!

      Cire - 2011-04-07 12:21

      @Maki - flogging a dead horse (that never existed nogal!) just makes you look silly! I live in an area outside JHB where there is a squatter camp with pit toilets!

  • OscartheDane - 2011-04-07 10:35

    Our rubbish has been outside for two weeks already, and NOW they are on strike???? A health hazard of note, and I certainly won't be bring it back into my property. Make a plan, and fast!!!!

  • Richard Bradshaw - 2011-04-07 10:41

    Our garbage has not being collected since Tuesday, so when did this strike start,

  • GeoObserver - 2011-04-07 10:45

    They were at work before??

  • GeoObserver - 2011-04-07 10:45

    Were they at work before??

  • marden - 2011-04-07 10:46

    someone should contact anclegend and see if he can delegate as that is all they are good at

  • YasButIDunno - 2011-04-07 10:49

    They should change the name of the cadres company to LeaveItThere. A tip for fellow long-suffering ratepayers: sprinkle a teaspoon of HTH chlorine granules (the stuff for the pool) in the bin, there will be no odour.

      Dave - 2011-04-07 10:56

      At this rate is gonna have to be a lot more than a teaspoon, but thanks for the heads up

      Bazil - 2011-04-07 14:30

      Yip, i'm gonna need a bucket or three

  • semaj - 2011-04-07 10:54

    Of course I might consider taking my waste to a dumping point, but for a fee. My time and fuel costs are gigantic, so beware SAMWU, you are facing a huge bill. The invoice will be in the post after my first delivery.

  • nonduplume - 2011-04-07 10:55

    I am little puzzled by this report - I did'nt know they ever worked! I live in a complex in Fourways and due to the absolute uselessness of these guys we pay a seperate complex levy for a private contractor to collect our refuse. So 91 units pay Joburg Useless a grand total of R15k a month not to deliver a service and they are striking for more money. Amos Mosonda past himself on the back, Exec Directors pay themselves huge bonuses, a world class African city - excuse while I hurl my brekkies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Uncle - 2011-04-07 10:57

    I'll still get the same bill at the end of the month though...even if I take my own trash to the dump. They striking workers won't get paid as far as I understand. Seems pikitup might profit from a little delay here.

      BigSpoon - 2011-04-07 12:21

      we should get deduction on our rates

  • Scout - 2011-04-07 11:11

    We have not had our rubbish removed for 3 weeks now - and there is no way in HELL that I will wheel the bins back into my property.

  • jowza - 2011-04-07 11:33

    what a load of garbage

  • Koos - 2011-04-07 11:33

    "We are asking residents who do not have their waste collected, to please keep it inside their yard and be patient," Oyedele said. you guys are f@$king useless!! refunds on refuge will be nice!!!! Bastards!!!

  • magszinovich - 2011-04-07 11:36

    Well this should be a huge wake up call for all people! We need to waste less.... The lack of recycling features in S.A. is shocking.... people should also make compost heaps.... put all your organic waste in a box (minus citrus as it kills germs) and leave in a place in your garden... free compost

      jowza - 2011-04-07 11:41

      my worms are on strike

  • neserp - 2011-04-07 11:37

    Strike again, but at the end of them month you will still be billed for your municipal rates! I think we should start paying the municipality as they deliver, so no delivery no payment!!

  • michael.e.bowery - 2011-04-07 11:37

    Strike? What a load of rubbish!

  • Darwinian - 2011-04-07 11:48

    The place is still full of garbage..striking or not...

  • Kooven - 2011-04-07 11:52

    This is my point exactley!!! Why does the ANC want to take control of the Western Cape or more Wards when they can't even take control of the provinces they already have... ANC = Absolute No Control

      BigSpoon - 2011-04-07 12:19

      it's called greed!

  • LOLWUT - 2011-04-07 11:54

    Ag again - That will just mean when they come to the door and say - "I want xmas box please" that they will be handed the trash they left behind

  • coonpsycho - 2011-04-07 12:02

    Its shocking, that in SA there is at least one strike a week? How about yous guys stops complainings and strikings and stuffs... wait its part of you culture to intimidate, litter, burn tires and throw rocks and upset everybody just for your own selfish cause. Here is a hint start following the correct channels, cause some day there will be some people who is going to get very gatvol of your manners when you strikes...

  • Kooven - 2011-04-07 12:02

    This is exactly my point! Why do they want to campaign for other wards and provinces when they can't even run or control the ones they have??? ANC = Absolute No Control

  • Cire - 2011-04-07 12:16

    While the right to rtike may be enshrined in the constitution, I think that the right of citizens to opt out of state 'services' - with a consequent reduction of taxes - should also be recognized. I would be quite happy to take my own trash to the tip. Same in private sector - I would be perfectly happy to fuel my car myself in return for a reduction in price. The more we are dependent on labour to take care of us, the more vulnerable we are to strikes. And if the DA wins JHB, we can except wall-to-wall strikes daily with workers jumping up and own screaming racist oppression.

  • BigSpoon - 2011-04-07 12:18

    What they are strinking on is noble, but it would be nice if pikitup would let us know prior to the strike instead of leaving us in the dark...and why can't puikitup management just sort this problem out, it can add benefit the company

  • burtfred - 2011-04-07 12:19

    How can one tell when Municipal workers are on a go-slow? Their normal-speed service is non existant, so how can they possibly go slower?

  • kaMazibuko - 2011-04-07 12:20

    Funny how ure all calling for the clowns to be trying to expose corruption wrong ??? Isnt this what we all want, an end to corruption ? U smart asses on MYmedia24 always accuse the majority of black south africans of being naive by keeping quiet when media reports of corruption emerge, now they are doing something but now u change and accuse them of being lazy? As black people what do we have to do before all you white folks treat us like our brains work ?

      FRpower - 2011-04-07 12:52

      Easy put people in charge who know how to run a business,who take their employee's seriously etc etc. But as you can see this is not happeneing and the very people at Pikitup are most probably on the golf coarse laughing at you. How these managers and directors get appointed i dont know but it must have something to do with the almighty corrupted ANC you vote for time and time again and you people will never learn that.

  • mm - 2011-04-07 12:22

    I'm not keeping it inside my yard. its been 2 weeks now with no waste removal. We pay taxes, it is their problem, i am not littering my yard with 2 week old waste!

  • Matthew Dean - 2011-04-07 13:03

    We had a problem with strikes in the UK during the last Labour Government in the 1970s, similar to SA. Rubbish on the street, food rations, because the unions had way too much power. What did Thatcher do? Ban the unions. problem solved... nowadays the unions are back, but strikes are the absolute last resort and usually only last a couple of days max.

  • bb - 2011-04-07 13:07

    Fire them.There are plenty who would be grateful for the jobs.

  • Tarri-Dee Botes - 2011-04-07 13:39

    Im sorry but i do actually support this strike. U guys were working at 8pm on a week day picking up dustbins and you looked tired. I then got home on a public holiday once and you guys were still working. Other than all the other stupid strikes i do feel for you guys.

  • joe - 2011-04-07 14:09

    This is a service that you are actually buying. On your monthly a/c you will see the price, as a seperate item. I don't understand why one should pay for a thing that you bought when the seller simply fails to deliver it!! At the very, very least we should simply not pay until they deliver. What a cheek they have, telling us to "be patient" and expecting us to just keep on paying without receiving anything for it. Even bigger cheek to tell us to drive to the dump ourselves but to keep on paying them.I say hit them where it hurts the most; let's go on strike with our payments!

  • Bazil - 2011-04-07 14:11

    In the words of Confucious. PICK UP MY %&$#ING TRASH

  • RealityBites - 2011-04-07 14:18

    Surely this is a matter for the new "Consumer Protection Act"? It states that the consumer has the right to choose, which we don't! The "service" which is offered, we pay for but do not receive??

  • OzzyInSA - 2011-04-07 15:19

    Typical. Pikitup wrote to us saying that we are in no way to give these "workers" any handout for Christmas if they asked (more like begged) for it. So when my intercom rang I showed the beggar (sorry, worker) the letter and he stormed off. The result? They did not empty my bin for 4 weeks. So, I refused to pay the Pikitup portion of my rates bill for January and still have not. I was threatened with court action until a lawyer's letter accompanying photographs and evidence was sent, then I got a letter of appology and was credited for the amount. Now we have again not had the garbage collected for 2 weeks. Guess what will be happening again! While it is ok for the workers to strike, as is their right, Pikitup must make contingency plans.

      joe - 2011-04-07 15:31

      Good for you! If only more people had the guts to do the same.

  • AgPseDaddy - 2011-04-08 14:35

    If you want garbage removed contact: Mike Baker on 082 573 3301 or 011 783 3444

  • jacqui.grigg - 2012-12-31 21:14

    Seriously? Again? How many stayaways have it been this year. About two months ago it took them 2 weeks to collect refuse and it is rare Pikitup coming around on a Monday, which is the scheduled day to collect. It is forever the day after, or the day after that, or the day after the day after......or two weeks later. And I am paying for that? Grrrreat!