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Pikitup apologises for Joburg's big stink

Pikitup workers affiliated to Samwu have been on strike over the last two weeks over salary increases.

Pikitup workers have been striking in Johannesburg CBD this week emptying trash in the streets and not collecting refuse in Johannesburg. Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Pikitup has apologised to residents and businesses in Johannesburg saying it's doing everything it can to clear up rubbish, but its efforts have been hampered by striking workers.

Employees affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) have vowed to bring the city to a standstill with members in Ekurhuleni now wanting to join the protest action.

They want salary increases, but Pikitup management says this is an unprotected strike and it will only negotiate with workers if they return to their posts.

Pikitup spokesman Jacky Mashapu says they're trying to clean up the city with the help of the Red Ants.

"We've been trying to roll out some recovery plans to make sure that we collect refuse from all our customers. But due to acts of hooliganism and victimisation our operations are being hampered."

WATCH: Red Ants and Global Waste clean-up Johannesburg

'OUR MEMBERS DO NOT CARRY GUNS'

Samwu says its members do not carry guns and has distanced itself from a shooting which left three Red Ants employees wounded.

Samwu's Papike Mohale says they cannot be blamed for this.

"We would like to distance ourselves from any allegations that it would be our members, even the extent that our workers are hooligans. The issues have been on the table for a very long time. We did they have to wait for it to get to this point?"