Pikitup outlines recovery plan and orders court interdict against striking casual workers

It has been a week since Pikitup part-time workers spilled waste in Hillbrow. Picture: Hope Mafu

It has been a week since Pikitup part-time workers spilled waste in Hillbrow. Picture: Hope Mafu

Published May 23, 2024


An independent investigator will spearhead investigations into recruitment at Pikitup followed by a report in the coming weeks.

City of Joburg has outlined a recovery plan to resume refuse removal services.

Parts of Johannesburg are staggered in heaps of uncollected waste, following the ongoing protests by Pikitup part-time workers who are demanding permanent jobs at the City.

Yesterday, during a media briefing at Pikitup head offices in Braamfontein, Brink lamented that the ongoing strike was disturbing essential waste services, which leaves affected areas in slums and grim conditions.

Currently, protesters are alleging Pikitup does not hire workers on merit. They allege nepotism and corruption, which they say is rife within the waste management company.

However, Brink denied the allegations, saying 300 job posts were advertised last year and an independent recruitment agency was responsible for the recruitment process.

He said an independent investigator will spearhead investigations and a report is expected to conclude in the next coming weeks.

“Our organised labour was on board on these developments and kept abreast. These positions were advertised, and various people who met the criteria were to apply through an online application that was created by the external service provider.

“Organised labour was notified to attend as observers during the interviews. Of importance to note is that various employees who are rendering the services of Pikitup to the communities of Joburg are appointed on different employment contracts, that is, co-operatives, EPWP, casuals and our permanent staff.

“The protests were sparked by the deployment of the new recruits to the various depots of Pikitup mid last week. They felt they were supposed to have been considered and prioritised in the recently held open recruitment processes,” said Brink.

Brink said the disruptions escalated into violent protests, resulting in workers burning tyres outside depots.

Pikitup is swiftly acting on resuming waste collection by engaging with stakeholders to ensure the safety of permanent staff and proposed solutions with casual workers.

By this, Pikitup ordered a court interdict against striking employees. “This is to ensure that whilst the rights of our employees to protest are protected, these rights must be exercised within the confines of the law and without destroying municipal assets and infrastructure,” said Brink.

According to Brink, Pikitup deployed over 101 compactors, 52 tipper trucks, 13 bobcats, eight mechanical sweeper and 12 TLBs across all its depots for waste collection.