Workers collect overtime as waste piles up for three weeks

2011-05-02 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality’s waste management workers spent Workers’ Day yesterday picking up the rubbish that they had failed to collect for more than two weeks.

However, while the garbage was picked up in Prestbury on Saturday and Mountain Rise yesterday by mid-morning, residents in Scottsville, Bisley and the upper areas of Northdale — Regina, Olympia and Reservoir roads — were still sitting with three weeks’ worth of uncollected rubbish by 5 pm.

In Northdale residents were abusive towards ward councillor Les Naidoo who was on a door-to-door visit canvassing for votes. Naidoo confirmed that he was paying the price for the non-collection and residents were holding him responsible for what happened. “I keep on calling waste management and they say it will be done. They have now promised that it will be done tomorrow [Monday]. I am at my wits’ end with this waste managment department and its empty promises. It is hurting my campaign and that of my party, the ANC. I have a proud track record in this ward,” Naidoo said.

Irate residents said it would be a travesty if the workers got paid overtime for doing on a Sunday what they should have done on a normal working day.

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma confirmed that the workers would be getting paid overtime for this weekend. But this was so that the backlog would be cleared and normal routines will resume tomorrow, he added.

Asked if this would become a regular practice by the waste management staff — not working on weekdays and then clearing backlogs on the weekend to collect overtime — Zuma said this would not happen. This weekend’s collection was a once-off, he insisted, and staff have been warned that services have to resume as normal. Anyone found hampering the process will be severely dealt with, he warned.

On Friday, Zuma phoned the waste management division after he had been contacted by The Witness. He was assured that the rubbish would be collected this weekend.

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