Mashaba says 'no waste pickers' road sign is not official, urges residents to report illegal signs

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Luyanda  is one of an estimated 6 000 waste-pickers in Johannesburg who live off other people’s garbage in what the World Bank calls the most unequal country on earth. (Bloomberg)
Luyanda is one of an estimated 6 000 waste-pickers in Johannesburg who live off other people’s garbage in what the World Bank calls the most unequal country on earth. (Bloomberg)

Johannesburg executive mayor Herman Mashaba says a sign purporting to be an official road sign barring waste pickers from using a public road isn't an official Johannesburg Roads Agency or city sign.

The sign, which looks official and bares the same red, white and black colours as normal road signs, has been the subject of much debate on Twitter since it was posted on Friday.

It is said to be posted on Wessels Road in Rivonia, northern Johannesburg. But it remains unclear who erected it there.

One of the first people to tweet an image of the sign was Twitter user @kgeremolla.

Waste pickers are often seen pulling their trolleys filled with refuse and recyclable materials on the city's roads, as they make their way to and from dumping sites.

The mayor and the City of Johannesburg both responded to @kgeremolla's post on Twitter, assuring upset users that it wasn't an JRA sign, therefore not an official road sign.

Mashaba called on anyone with information of the location of this sign and others to report these to the city.

Last month, around 200 waste pickers marched to the offices of Pikitup and the City of Johannesburg to be recognised.

The image sparked debate about waste pickers and whether they should be allowed to pull their trolleys on public roads.

While some people defended the recyclers, arguing they were only trying to make a living and were in fact assisting the city, others said they were hazards on the road.


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