Pikitup ropes in contractors to work night shifts and weekends to clean City of Joburg



Published May 22, 2024


A protest by casual waste collectors from Pikitup has left some areas of Johannesburg with an unbearable stench.

The protest started on Thursday, May 16, and has been led by Zandspruit-based Combat Movement leader Enos Maake.

The community-based organisation assists members of the community to find work and fight corruption in government.

The protest has since disrupted services, resulting in waste piling up in surrounding areas and leaving residents to deal with the results of the ongoing protest.

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

They alleged that there was corruption, nepotism and political connections taking place at the depot.

On Wednesday, City of Johannesburg and Pikitup officials held a media briefing and gave an update on how they intend to resolve the impasse and clean the City.

Speaking at the briefing, Pikitup Managing Director Bukelwa Njingolo, said despite the ongoing disruptions, they were committed to initiating immediate clean-up actions.

“We have engaged our ad-hoc contracts which are service providers that are contracted with Pikitup and they are assisting us by providing us with trucks...So the request for them was that we give them additional fleet to clear the backlog,” she said.

Njingolo said they are engaging with owners of the trucks to assist with additional workers to cover the depots that are not operational.

“We are engaging with management throughout the depots where we believe there is a challenge,” she added.

In addition, she said their catch-up plans includes workers working on weekends and night shifts where possible.

Regarding the grievances raised by casual workers, Njingolo said Pikitup was an ongoing recruitment drive which is done in a phase approach.

“Phase one was initiated in December 2023 and the appointment happened in the past week. So the next drive will be initiated now in the month of May and concluded in June.”

Njongolo said it should be clear that when hiring, they don’t only focus on Pikitup casual workers because they also have people from Expanded Public Works Programme who they should consider.

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