Johannesburg residents frustrated over uncollected garbage

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Johannesburg residents have voiced out their frustration over uncollected garbage. This due to a protest by Pikitup casual workers.

The employees whose contracts with Pikitup are expiring have been holding protests outside the depots in Johannesburg since Monday demanding permanent employment.

Pikitup has recently advertised 300 permarnent jobs. The protest has resulted in Pikitup truck not being able to leave the depots resulting in tons of rubbish pilling up including in the Johannesburg CBD.

The casual workers have vowed to continue with their protest until their demands are met. However, the Johannesburg CBD and residential areas are in a mess as uncollected gabbage piles up.

This has left many residents frustrated with the smell that comes with uncollected waste. Their bins pilling up and running out of space.

The workers are represented by COMBAT protest movement. Its leader Enos Maake has accused Pikitup of nepotism, sex for jobs and of hiring people from outside Gauteng.

“The demand is clear that we want these people to be the first priority. And those that were hired in the bedrooms of other leaders and staff members must go back. Here we want them to appoint these people. We have given them the demands and we are waiting for the management to respond. Otherwise we continue with the shutdown.”

Pikitup has since refuted the claims saying the 300 jobs were advertised for everyone to apply. The waste management company says it remains committed to engaging with the protesting casual workers to find an amicable solution.

Pikitup spokesperson Muzi Mkwanazi says efforts are being made to resolve the impasse.

“Private security personnel and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department will escort employees as they provide services to residents. Pikitup reassures City of Johannesburg residents that every effort is being made to restore waste collection services. Residents in affected areas are encouraged to dispose of their waste at Pikitup’s integrated waste management facilities while the matter is being resolved.”

Meanwhile, some of the protesting casual workers say they are struggling to make ends meet.

“If you were in the same space that we were, like now you are volunteering for over 6 years, after volunteering they get people from outside. I have two children and I stay with them. It’s difficult for them to survive. They put us on continuous 3 month contracts, we want permanent jobs. There are people with 4 to 5 years working for this company. We want the company to register us as permanent.”