Pikitup strike results in 30,000 tons of uncollected waste

Demonstrators emptied trash bins in Johannesburg CBD while abandoning posts.

FILE: Municipal refuse removal workers downed tools on Monday, demanding salary increases. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Pikitup says the ongoing strike by workers has resulted in 30,000 tons of waste piling up, posing a health risk.

Municipal refuse removal workers downed tools on Monday, demanding salary increases and calling for Pikitup Managing Director Amanda Nair to resign.

Demonstrators emptied trash bins in Johannesburg CBD, while abandoning posts and not collecting bins in residential areas.

Nair says the strike has disrupted operations.

"During the course of last week, at least 30,000 tons of waste have piled up in various parts of the city."

Nair says private companies have been contracted to clean up the city from today and residents should leave their bins out for collection tomorrow morning.

At the same time, Pikitup says a massive clean-up will commence in the inner city today.

Pikitup management says a massive clean-up operation will start this afternoon and will cover the inner city, Joubert Park, Hillbrow, Braamfontein, Fordsburg and Yeoville.

"The team worked through late last night detailing the contingency and recovery plan. So we pressed the button on that this morning."

Nair says refuse will be collected by contracted service providers while they try reach an agreement with the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu).

She says when people arrive in the city tomorrow it should be clean.

WATCH: Striking Pikitup employees leave parts of Braam in a stench

Meanwhile, the City of Johannesburg says disciplinary and legal action will be taken against striking Pikitup workers who vandalise property and empty trash in the streets.

The city's Matshidiso Mfikoe says although the constitution allows the right to protest, demonstrators should do so in a responsible way.

"Disciplinary processes as well as legal action will be taken against those responsible for the intimidation, violence and damage to property that has ensued over the week."

She says management and Samwu will meet tomorrow to discuss workers grievances

"One is the allegation of internal disparities in salaries in the company, and the second one is base making of the salaries with other city departments and entities, the salaries as well as the system of salary progression."

Police stand off with striking Pikitup members in Braamfontein. Picture:Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.