Pikitup boss safe for now

MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Matshidiso Mfikoe, flanked by Pikitup Board chairperson, Trish Hanekom, and managing director, Amanda Nair.


South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu), who are on strike, demanded that Nair be suspended, alleging that she was involved in corruption. This followed allegations of impropriety in connection with the award of a tender for the provision of waste management services by Pikitup, which prompted the National Treasury to recommend an inquiry into the tender process in December 2013 but she was later cleared.

In a media briefing held at the Pikitup offices in Braamfontein, Mfikoe said, “We dealt with those issues and Nair was cleared after a year’s suspension. Anyone, including the union members, with the [relevant] information can come forward and we can take it from there.”

On behalf of the City of Joburg and Pikitup, the MMC also apologised for the disruption of waste management services and the severe inconvenience to the residents of Joburg as a result of recurring unprotected work stoppages by employees affiliated to the union. She said, “The City and Samwu agreed on 3 December 2015 to restore a relationship of trust and engage with each other in a process facilitated by senior counsel, appointed by the Gauteng Provincial Government member of the executive council, Jacob Mamabolo.

“The board and management of Pikitup, therefore, condemn the unlawful work stoppage on 9 March 2016. We have also received reports of violence and intimidation at depots.”

This unprotected strike is the third stoppage following an unprotected and unlawful nine-day work stoppage in the city in November and December last year. Mfikoe said this was in complete violation of the letter and spirit of their agreement with Samwu.

She said there was no dispute that has been declared or certificate granted for Samwu to embark on a protected strike. “Labour Court interdicts were obtained in November 2015 and in February 2016 and the ongoing unprotected work-stoppages are an act of defiance on the part of Samwu. “Events of yesterday clearly demonstrate that Samwu is negotiating in bad faith. Employees affiliated to Samwu embarked on the stoppage yesterday while negotiations were in progress. As the City we have done everything possible to resolve all the concerns raised by Samwu in an amicable manner,” Mfikoe said.

She added that it’s completely unacceptable and a violation of the rights of residents to service delivery, to witness yet another wave of unprotected labour action.

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Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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