Task team to probe Pikitup
Johannesburg - A task team has been appointed to probe waste management agency Pikitup, on allegations of corruption, nepotism and irregular tenders, which have resulted in a full blown strike by refuse workers, a City of Johannesburg spokesperson said on Friday.
City spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane told Sapa that the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) presented city manager Mavela Dlamini with submissions on terms of reference on Monday.
A task team to investigate the allegations was then set up.
"We will not accept corruption," Modingoane said, adding that Pikitup management and its board welcomed the decision to have it probed.
Pikitup which is a council owned entity, has to be accounted for by the city manager, he said.
"He is the accounting officer for the city, he is informed...There have been discussions," he said on the strike.
Samwu, representing about 2 000 disgruntled workers who embarked on strike action on Thursday, claim to have in its possession, documentation detailing these allegations, and have also threatened to approach the public protector, if its demands were not met.
"We will approach the public protector on matters of corruption, nepotism and irregular tenders should our disputes with Pikitup not be resolved," Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema said.
"We have given the city manager some reasonable time and space to make an intervention, and if that fails, we will approach the special investigations unit," he said.
His comments followed a meeting between Samwu, politicians and the Johannesburg city manager on Wednesday.
Striking workers demanded, among other things, that an internal investigation be commissioned into the alleged corruption and irregular tenders at the company.
Pikitup's managing director must be suspended pending the investigation, they indicated. Sema claimed one "faulty tender" was worth R100m and given to an outside trucking company.
"The proper procedures were not followed. Service providers were not even given an opportunity to apply for the contract because the managing director instructed that it go to that [trucking] company," he said.
He said workers doing the same jobs were also not being equally paid.
Money was also being wasted on contract workers, who should be made permanent.
Samwu also said that certain managers and executives of Pikitup, the city’s official waste management service provider, were being intimidated for supporting the union's calls for a probe.
Workers have also rejected a proposal put together by the city as "it did not deal with their key demands". Pickets outside a number of Pikitup depots would still take place.
Pikitup spokesperson Pansy Oyedele said Pikitup was working to identify solutions to end the dispute.
Pikitup asked residents whose rubbish was not collected because of the strike to be patient, and to keep it inside their yards.
People with the capacity could take general waste to the landfill sites.