Protesters disrupt traffic in Johannesburg CBD

2018-05-10 08:12
People have burnt barricades as of a Johannesburg protest. (iStock)

People have burnt barricades as of a Johannesburg protest. (iStock)

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The Gauteng police are monitoring the situation in the inner city after a group of protesters burned refuse which had not been collected for at least a month.

"Some people are protesting for this contract Pikitup and they are burning rubbish that has not collected in the CBD for a long time," said Gauteng police spokesperson Kay Makhubela.

He said people residing in the inner city were burning rubbish and had blockaded Claim Street, which was now open.

"The police are monitoring the situation. No one has been arrested," he said.

On videos supplied to News24, residents are seen burning the rubbish and singing in protest.

Fed up

According to police, the protesters marched through the city centre and causing delays on Wolmaraans, Smit, and Blanket streets in Hillbrow.

One of the fed up protesters living in Hillbrow said Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba had not collected refuse.

"Our streets were so dirt and that is why we resorted to this…This is a basic need for everyone."

He said: "Are they doing this because we are black that we cannot have hygienic services. Mashaba's administration has eyes, it only services areas Sandton, Randburg and Rosebank where there are white people and here in Hillbrow, he does not bring it.

"We have stayed with all the rubbish and today we decided that we will take it to his office so that he can take care of it. So what should we do because our houses are smelling. It is a dump."

He claimed that in the entire inner city rubbish had not been collected since last month.

"There was no truck or alternatives made to service our area. We are continue because this man is undermining us. We are a valuable people," he said.   

On Wednesday, the waste company said it had started to clear up areas in Johannesburg that were affected by rubbish collection backlog.

Spokesperson Muzi Mkhwanazi said: "Processes [were] in place to see how we could absorb some of these contract workers into Pikitup. The processes took too long, and their contracts ended. So we had to use limited staff to clean in certain areas."

Mkhwanazi said there were "unacceptable" levels of waste were in parts and sections of Alexandra, Hillbrow, Joubert Park, Doornfontein and Mayfair.

"There has never been a time where Pikitup services were discontinued in the affected areas," he said.

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