Residents resist workers’ demands for Christmas tips

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Despite Msunduzi saying that municipal workers should not ask the public for Christmas tips, it seems the workers never got that memo.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said on Monday that no workers may ask for tips, and if they are given any gifts, they have to declare these to the council.

But around the city, residents reported that on their last round before Christmas, it was business as usual for waste workers, who were not shy to plead with residents for handouts.

Residents from Prestbury and Athlone said the waste workers were heard yelling at their gates asking for their Christmas cash.

Two residents said the workers had spent some time persistently yelling outside their gates before eventually moving off.

“We always tip them, yes they get paid but I would hate to have that job, it’s just a kind gesture of appreciation.”
Witness reader Emma Mortimer.

Responding to a story about this on The Witness Facebook page on Tuesday, many others also said waste workers had been asking for their year-end gifts as usual.

Sindy Parkes Marais said: “That did not stop them from ringing my bell late yesterday afternoon asking for gifts; we ignored them. I pay the municipality enough for services.

“I don’t get why should I give the workers anything extra; they probably get above average increases every year like the rest of government while the private sector just pays for this and gets nothing in return.”

“They only have themselves to blame ... it used to be a treat to give them a Christmas box but when they decided that they are entitled to work only Sundays ... getting double time and all of a sudden now they feel they are entitled to a Christmas box or they refuse to take your rubbish!”
Nikki van Heerden

Slie Nodollie Zingelwayo agreed, saying that the workers “probably get paid more than other private sector employees who don’t get paid bonuses or even get increases.”

Serusha Devnarrian said: “They scream Christmas, Christmas and bang our gates.”

Nikki van Heerden had strong feelings about the bonus ban, saying, “They only have themselves to blame ... it used to be a treat to give them a Christmas box but when they decided that they are entitled to work only Sundays ... getting double time and all of a sudden now they feel they are entitled to a Christmas box or they refuse to take your rubbish!

ALSO READ | Trash piles up as garbage collectors demand gifts.

“I will never, ever give R5 to a municipal employee again! Ever!”

Amolish Zim said, “They are so annoying because they demand tips. It’s as if you owe them.”

Sindy Ngubane said, “In previous years I used to give them as a kind gesture. But now they demand it.

“They knock at the gate before picking up the garbage. If you don’t give them a tip they leave it there. (In the Grange on Monday). Totally unacceptable as we pay the municipality a tariff for refuse collection.”

Anitha Lutchman said municipal workers were in Hayfields on Monday “demanding their money and gifts”.

Peter Francis Dewee also weighed in saying, “They not only receive a monthly salary, they also benefit by receiving a 13th cheque. Which I’m sorry is much more than many can ever dream of receiving!”

Sunil Maharaj said this happens every year. “They feel entitled to this. Kinda like a form of harassment.”

ALSO READ | Little boy overwhelmed by meeting his heroes the rubbish collectors.

Hazel Claassen, however, thinks there’s nothing wrong with tipping your “favourite municipality guy”.

“Maybe one that was good to you the whole year. Those that went beyond their duty to help you. I feel those can be tipped.”

Emma Mortimer agreed, saying, “We always tip them, yes they get paid but I would hate to have that job, it’s just a kind gesture of appreciation.”

Lucky Ngidi said, “Christmas is the time of giving. No matter what the challenges are but let’s show humanness and giving a 2 litre coke or choice assorted is enough. I know they get paid I do it because it’s a once off thing but do not give money.”

Anthony Barnardt said, “It was normal for decades. Xmas time they come with a book. I donate. Sign book. Anyway. I still give each guy R200 + a gift of wine or beer. It’s hard work. ... Also the municipal grass cutting team I gave a Xmas gift. Cutting grass in front of house.

“That’s how we build a nation.”

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