Pikitup: Intimidation hampers efforts to implement contingency plans

Workers affiliated to Samwu have been on strike for five weeks, demanding salary hikes.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Jo'burg says while its bolstering contingency plans to remove uncollected rubbish during the Pikitup strike, its efforts are still being hampered by intimidation.

The City says it's hoping for an end to the Pikitup strike in the next 48 hours, with negotiations continuing with South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

LISTEN: Pikitup strike marred by violence and worker intimidation

Workers affiliated to the Samwu been on strike for five weeks now, demanding salary hikes and Pikitup Managing Director, Amanda Nair's resignation.

At the same time, Pikitup has urged residents to bag their rubbish, to avoid health risks.

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau says uncollected rubbish is not due to neglect from the City, but rather intimidation by strikers.

"As you would know, this includes situations in Alexandra, some of them that happened two days ago and some of them over the weekend, of intimidation and gunshots against workers. So indeed it can't be as a result of neglect, as opposed to a situation of intimidation and threats against workers that are on the ground."

The city says it's hoping for an end to the strike by Friday, but it cannot pre-empt the negotiation processes at the CCMA.

Tau says if Pikitup agrees to current salary demands, the City will have to fork out at least R3 billion more every year.

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