Illegal Pikitup strike can no longer be tolerated - Mayor

CoJ mayor Parks Tau says the city and Samwu need to go back to the negotiating table.

City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau with other senior CoJ officials during a media briefing on 29 March 2016. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau says the illegal work stoppage of striking Pikitup workers can no longer be tolerated.

The mayor is briefing media on the latest happenings surrounding an illegal, unprotected strike by South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) affiliated workers.

WATCH: Tau won't tolerate messy Pikitup protest.

The strike has been ongoing for nearly a month, which has forced the City of Johannesburg to employ private contractors at R1 million a day to remove refuse.

Samwu says it's refusing to go back to work until a salary agreement has been reached.

Tau says the city negotiates salaries at the Central Bargaining Council, at a national level, adding that it's regrettable that this has been labelled as a salary issue.

He says negotiations between employee representatives and management were to start in December, but due to a lack of cooperation from Samwu, the process stopped.

"About 19 Pikitup workers have been arrested since the beginning of the strike. Over the weekend, more people were arrested in Alexandra."

Tau added that no arrests have yet been made regarding the shootings of two Pikitup trucks, which eventually collided.

"Some of the charges include damage to property and attempted murder."

Tau says some workers have made contact, saying they want to return to work but are too afraid because of fear of intimidation.

"We need to officially go back to the negotiating table."

Pikitup has once again called on employees to return to work while talks with union leaders continue, to resolve the strike.

The union wants a salary of between R8,000 and R10,000 for workers receiving the lowest wages.


An estimated 4,000 Pikitup workers, who have taken part in the unprotected strike in Johannesburg, will face a disciplinary hearing this morning.

The disciplinary hearing has been set down for three days.