No bonus, no trash collection, business told

2007-12-20 00:00

Nisha Munilal of Raisethorpe declined to give Msunduzi Municipality refuse collectors a Christmas bonus‚ so they refused to collect her rubbish for two weeks.

“It was approximately 7.20 pm on Wednesday evening [last week] when the truck came by to collect the rubbish. One of the men came up to the premises of my bottle store and requested a Christmas bonus, which I refused to give him because to my knowledge they receive a bonus at the end of the year.

“The man then began harassing some of my customers for a bonus, resulting in heated arguments with some of them. My husband asked him to leave and the man became aggressive, shouting that he did not care if we reported him to the municipality,” said Munilal.

As one of the other refuse collectors was about to empty the rubbish from the large bin into the truck, Munilal saw the man who had requested a bonus telling his colleague to leave the refuse because there were too many bin bags.

“To my amazement, when I requested him to take the rubbish he refused and the truck left,” she said.

Munilal then contacted the waste department and heard the supervisor immediately radioing in the complaint and instructing the vehicle with the registration NPC 4353 to return to the premises to pick up the refuse. To date, the refuse has not been collected, despite several attempts by Munilal to get the matter resolved.

On Wednesday this week, the same man who had refused to collect the rubbish was travelling in a waste removal truck registered NPC 4310 at around 1.20 pm.

The truck went to all other premises to collect their waste but blatantly by-passed Munilal’s business premises. He told Munilal that the rubbish would not be collected.

The rubbish from last week has been torn open by stray dogs and Munilal said that her husband had to repack the strewn rubbish, hoping it would be collected.

“The behaviour of these refuse collectors is most unacceptable as we pay a standard amount of R99,24 for waste collection each month.

“We respect the workers and the work they do, but we cannot pay extra for their services,” Munilal told The Witness.

Waste collection supervisor Thomas Ndlela said that he has heard of similar complaints from members of the public and that it is against the policy of the municipality for collectors to request extra bonuses.

“This is incorrect behaviour. Refuse collectors get adequate bonuses so there is no need to ask the public for money,” he said.

Process manager of the community services and social equity unit, Mandla Zuma, said that the refuse collectors receive a 13th cheque, and added that clients are not obliged to give Christmas incentives to refuse collectors.

“What these collectors have done is totally unacceptable. Refuse collectors sometimes get gifts from residents who have found their services commendable and they then assume that other clients are obliged to do the same,” Zuma said.

He added that he is disappointed that their attitude has hindered the delivery of services and assured The Witness that the collectors involved will be given a verbal warning and that the refuse will be collected.

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