Police to escort Tshwane rubbish trucks as contractor dispute gets dirty

2017-09-08 18:05

Johannesburg - The City of Tshwane's rubbish trucks are going to get their own police escorts to safeguard them during a contractor dispute.

It comes after a group of sub-contractors to the City of Tshwane offloaded a pile of smelly rubbish on the Onderstepoort road near Rosslyn, outside Pretoria, earlier on Friday in a bid to block off the road

The disgruntled group accused the Democratic Alliance-led metro of refusing to do business with black people.

"The DA don't want to give black people opportunities," claimed Peter Magabule, on behalf of the Amalgamated Business Forum.

A video posted by @YusufAbrahmjee shows a garbage truck dumping the load of rubbish across one lane, as vehicles struggle to get past it.

Magabule said the owners of Small Medium and Micro Enterprises had in the past been sub-contracted by the main contractors to clear unsightly piles of builders' rubble, like broken tiles and chunks of concrete dumped on the sides of roads.

They drive around and load the illegally dumped rubble onto trucks, and drop it off at the official rubbish dump.

But, according to Magabule, the contractor said the City was now trying to save money.

'It's not the same under the DA'

He said, if they were not able to collect illegally dumped rubbish as usual, the area would look unsightly and would smell.

Magabule said small business owners, from as far afield as Mamelodi and Soshanguve, never had any problems with contracts and sub-contracts when the ANC led the city. 

Since the August 2016 elections, when the DA's Solly Msimanga became mayor in a coalition deal, things had changed for the sub-contractors, he said.

"It's not the same under the DA."

In September last year, Msimanga announced that R2bn worth of tenders, which his office had inherited, were being analysed. 

The group is demanding that Agriculture and Environment MMC Mike Mkhari meet with them and listen to their concerns. They also no longer want to do business through a middleman, but directly with the City.

In a statement, Mkhari said this was not the way to be heard.

He said, during the past week, there had been other trashings around the city, and refuse removal services had been disrupted.

"In order to give effect to the City's responsibility of ensuring that our community surroundings are clean, Tshwane Metro Police has been directed to escort the waste collection trucks to Region 1 [Mabopane, Soshanguve, Rosslyn] and other areas," Mkhari said.

In the Western Cape, paramedics are already being escorted by police, after a spate of attacks on ambulance staff.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  service delivery

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