Strike chaos in city centre

2010-04-16 00:00

SERVICES such as rubbish collection ground to a halt yesterday as Msunduzi Municipality employees rampaged through the city, throwing rubbish on to the streets.

Municipal workers countrywide have been on strike since Monday.

Black garbage bags loaded with rubbish, old television sets and broken beer bottles were all thrown on to the streets.

The most affected roads included Railway Street, Havelock Road, Pietermaritz Street, Church Street and Langalibalele Street, which runs past the KZN Legislature.

Cars had to navigate through the rubbish and while many drivers looked astonished, the more cynical described the rubbish as the “new South Africa”.

Official buildings were also not spared the anarchy. Rubbish bins at the provincial legislature were overturned and at the municipality’s Sibusiso Nyembezi building, strikers allegedly went in and threw rubbish inside the building.

A witness to the chaos at the Nyembezi building said the toyi -toying employees, who were passing in front of the building at about 11 am, took rubbish from outside and threw it inside the main entrance.

By noon, when The Witness arrived there, an employee was still cleaning the lobby and the piles of rubbish that had been dumped inside were just outside the door.

Business people in the city said the strikers should have not trashed the city. “They should have focused on the matters they need addressed instead of turning the city into a dump,” said Annamaria Cele, a tavern owner on Railway Street, whose passion for cleaning up has seen her dubbed “Mrs Mop”.

Lucky Phiri, chairman of Samwu’s Pietermaritzburg branch, said the people who were trashing the city are criminals because the employees at the Msunduzi Municipality were not on strike.

“When we negotiated to engage in the strike, the Msunduzi employees said they will not be able to participate because they were coming back from another bruising strike, so all I can say is that all those who were throwing rubbish are criminals,” he said.

Msunduzi Deputy Mayor Jabu Nguba said they were at an executive committee (Exco) meeting yesterday, but when they got out they were informed that a handful of people went through town uprooting rubbish bins.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.