Interruption of Pikitup services are politically motivated – Herman Mashaba

Joburg mayor says former contract workers being approached by political forces to instigate instability

Interruption of Pikitup services are politically motivated

5 September 2018

The City of Johannesburg has suffered interruptions to Pikitup’s refuse removal services over the past two weeks is without doubt being politically motivated.

We have received intelligence from individuals that former temporary contract workers are being approached by political forces in an effort to instigate instability within the City’s cleaning services.

Over the past two weeks politically driven protests have taken place outside of Pikitup Depots, mostly in Soweto and the Midrand, Diepsloot and Ivory Park areas. These protests have been driven in response to the City’s insourcing of contract workers into Pikitup.

When this decision to insource contract workers was announced, it was clear that the City could only insource a defined number of people. Clear criteria were agreed to through engagements with key stakeholders in the organised labour and contract worker spaces.

The City is deeply sympathetic to the 900 000 people who are without employment in Johannesburg. It is a human tragedy that the multi-party government is determined to resolve. We have already begun to produce positive results with Johannesburg achieving job growth of 109 000 in the first two quarters of 2018. The reality, however, is that government cannot be an employer of all those without work, but must focus on growing our economy in such a way that more people find work in our City.

For political forces to exploit this tragic situation for their narrow political ends is sinking to new depths of moral bankruptcy.

We have begun a full scale investigation which will lead to the imminent arrests of the organisers of these protests, as Pikitup has now obtained a court order against any further disruptions of their premises or operations.

I caution those individuals who have partaken in these protests not to be used by a political party for their narrow political benefit. This same political party will not assist you when arrests are effected in future disruptions.

Our investigation will not stop at those participating in these disruptions, but will ensure that those politically driving these disruptions face the full might of the law.

Recently the City uncovered what appeared to be the sabotage of its sub-station in Eikenhof that left large areas of the City with limited water supply. Investigations into this matter are underway and the criminals will be brought to book.

The provision of services the residents of our City should never become a bargaining chip used politically to destabilise a government. When this happens, war is waged against the residents of these affected areas who have the right and expectation of regular refuse removal in their communities.

The City of Johannesburg offers its sincere apologies for the disruption of its refuse removal services to residents impacted by these protests. We undertake to resolve the situation and decisively address the criminality that is taking place.

Issued by Luyanda Mfeka, Director: Mayoral Communications, Office of the Executive Mayor, 5 September 2018