Pikitup strike costs Joburg R2m a day

The company has contracted independent companies to help clean up the city while its workers strike.

FILE. Pikitup employees affiliated to Samwu embarked on an unprotected strike through the streets if Johannesburg.Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Pikitup says the ongoing strike is costing the city R2 million a day.

As rubbish continues to pile up in Johannesburg, Pikitup says it has contracted independent companies to help clean up the city.

Refuse workers have been on strike for a week demanding salary increases and the removal of the company's managing director.

Pikitup Managing Director Amanda Nair says they are in the process of evaluating the damage caused by the unprotected strike.

She says the cost of the strike is set to increase.

"We are probably spending about R2 million on the strike, in terms of the operational activities that we'll be undertaking, additional security arrangements and of course we have a whole legal team."

The city's Matshidiso Mfikoe says legal and disciplinary action will be taken against those who have been found to have vandalised property.

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

ALLEGATIONS

Pikitup management will today meet with the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) to discuss workers' concerns.

Allegations of intimidation have been reported, with Pikitup management accusing Samwu shop stewards of preventing some from working.

The union says management was not willing to meet with them last week, resulting in the strike continuing.

Mfikoe says Pikitup management met with the union at the weekend and will meet again today to discuss issues around salaries.

Samwu has accused Nair of corruption.

Mfikoe says Samwu should provide evidence.

"We need to really avoid people when they had these agreements with anybody… Then they say people are corrupt and when asking for information and proof, it doesn't come."

Nair says the accusations have affected her reputation.

"There are times when it does get a bit overwhelming to deal with. But at the end of the day I feel like Pikitup is making enormous strides in terms of improving the quality of the business."

She says she's hoping all issues will be resolved by next week.