Waste picking volunteers who have been overlooked for jobs at Pikitup demand to be hired

Combat Movement leads a peaceful protest outside the Pikitup Randburg Depot over the alleged corruption and nepotism taking place within the waste management company. Picture: Simon Majadibodu/Independent Newspapers

Combat Movement leads a peaceful protest outside the Pikitup Randburg Depot over the alleged corruption and nepotism taking place within the waste management company. Picture: Simon Majadibodu/Independent Newspapers

Published May 17, 2024


Services were disrupted at the Pikitup Randburg Depot as workers took to the streets to protest against the employment practices and alleged corruption and nepotism within the waste management company.

The peaceful protest took place outside the depot gates, and was led by the Zandspruit-based Combat Movement leader Enos Maake. The community based organisation assists members of the community find work and fighting corruption in government.

Addressing the protesters, Maake said that many workers have been volunteering at the depot for years, yet when 300 job posts were advertised, they were not hired.

He alleged that there was corruption, nepotism and political connections taking place in the depot.


“I heard about the shenanigans in this depot, and there’s a list circulating around showing the names of people who will be working here,” he said.

Maake further claimed that councillors are the driving force behind the corruption scandal of hiring people in the deport.

“We’re told that ward councillors are the ones who are part of the hiring team here and hires their favourite people to work here.”

Leader of Combat Movement, Enos Maake said that they will continue to protest outside the Pikitup Randburg Depot until their demands are met. Picture: Simon Majadibodu/Independent Newspapers

He added that he demands the volunteers, despite their service and experience, should not be overlooked and should be employed permanently.

“We’re aggrieved on why Pikitup is overlooking our people who are actually performing their duties and knows how to pick up rubbish in communities. We want these people to be absorbed,” he said.

Maake claimed that there was a lot of corruption with the online system used for job application, alleging that it only favours the favourites of the ward councillors..

Additionally, Thabiso Letsogo, 37, from Randburg said he has been volunteering at the depot for over five years and is concerned about why he has not been offered permanent employment.

Thabiso Letsogo (37) said that he’s been volunteering at waste management company for over five years and demands a permanent employment. Picture: Simon Majadibodu/Independent Newspapers

“They must hire us because we know how to do this work and we have been committed and dedicated to this work over the years. They can’t hire new people who don’t know how to do this work while we’re are highly experienced,” he said.

Letsogo said they want to be considered for permanent positions as they were told they have to volunteer first to be considered for such opportunities.

“We did apply online and we have been submitting our resumes at the head offices multiple times, but we’re not getting any communication from them.”

Another frustrated volunteer, Puleng Chauke, 45, from Zandspruit, who has been volunteering since 2022, alleged that their ward councillor, David Mangena, told them that he does not recognise them, hence they will not be considered for employment.

“Our councillor told us us that he does not know anything about us, does not want anything to do with us and he won’t even hire us anywhere. All these 300 people hired here, are his favourites,” she told IOL News.

Responding to the allegations, David Mangena said: “Councillors don’t have power to hire people, however, I told the volunteers to stop from doing so as it does not guarantee a permanent position and that they will end up fighting for jobs.”

Meanwhile, Pikitup spokeswoman Muzi Mkhwanazi confirmed to IOL News that a total of 300 jobs were advertised.

“The waste management company advertised the jobs for the entire city not only for Randburg as claimed,” he said.

Mkhwanazi denied allegations that the workers were hired through corruption and nepotism.

“A service provider was appointed to handle the entire recruitment process and the online application system is managed by the City of Johannesburg.

“Everyone was allowed to apply for the vacancies and there were no restrictions imposed. All the applications were treated equally as demanded by the Labour Relations Act and internal employment policies,” he added.

Asked about the requirements needed to be employed by the waste management company Mkhwanazi said: “Must possess a grade 10 report, be physically and mentally fit, no criminal record, be a South Africa citizen, have a police clearance, reside with the City of Joburg, and have a 12 months relevant or similar experience.”

Meanwhile, the leader of the movement vowed to continue to protest until their demands are met, or else “City of Gold will turn into City of Shit.”