Strike affects Ekurhuleni waste services
Johannesburg - The Ekurhuleni municipality will appoint private contractors to assist with the solid waste backlog caused by the ongoing SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) strike, the municipality said on Wednesday.
Municipal spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said contractors, who would soon be appointed by the municipality, were expected to start working before the end of the week.
They would continue working until the backlog was addressed and the situation returned to normal.
"Generally the service is rendered in most parts of the region. However, it has been derailed in Kempton Park, Springs, Edenvale and Nigel which have been hard hit by the ongoing Samwu action," Dlamini said in a statement.
"We further encourage members of the public, who have the means, to take their waste to the nearest waste disposal facility, which are within reach of residents in all the affected areas."
The available facilities were the Nigel Waste Transfer Station between 07:30 and 18:00, Heidelberg Road Transfer Station between 07:00 and 18:00, Chloorkop Landfill between 07:00 and 17:00 (a water and lights account would be required at this site).
"The striking workers have been using the very same uncollected garbage to trash the towns. Although the metro moves in to clean the mess in the evenings, the workers return to trash them during the day the next day."
Crimes won't be tolerated
Samwu members have been on strike in the province since February 14, three days after the dismissal of seven of their shop stewards who allegedly assaulted a presiding officer during a disciplinary hearing.
Strikes by the union took place on February 21, 22 and 23 in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.
"The strike has not been well-supported as the municipality is able to render services to communities and conduct its day-today-activities in almost all the suburbs.
"However, the area of solid waste removal and maintenance of parks has been hard hit in some areas, something which has resulted in us looking at alternative interventions," Dlamini said.
The Ekurhuleni municipality again warned workers embarking in the strike action to abstain from engaging in acts of vandalism, intimidation, looting, assault and other illegal activities as these crimes would not be tolerated by the employer.
"We have a court order against such acts of crime and we have already instructed the police and the EMPD to arrest and charge the perpetrators in this regard. The law will be taking its course and we will also act internally as a metro," Dlamini said.