Metro police and foreign nationals on Jeppe and Delvers streets as mayor Herman Mashaba arrived at the scene where South African Police Service officers were attacked by foreigners allegedly selling counterfeit goods in the Johannesburg CBD. File photo: ANA/Nhlanhla

JOHANNESBURG - City of Johannesburg waste management entity Pikitup managed to double its work force and equipment to clean and remove large quantities of waste strewn all over the city’s streets by protesting foreign nationals, who also attacked police officers, this week, the city said.

The night shift team responsible for cleaning and sweeping Rahima Moosa, Risik, Nugget, and Lilian Ngoyi streets normally consisted of a group of 10 employees with one compactor truck, mayoral committee member for environment and infrastructure services Nico de Jager said on Saturday.

However, due to the amount of waste that was illegally scattered in the streets of the inner-city, Pikitup had to make adjustments to clean the affected areas, he said.

"As a result, 40 employees were deployed to the affected areas, complemented by two compactor trucks, two tipper trucks, and a bobcat truck. The increased staff complement managed to remove and clear the large quantities of waste that were illegally dumped in the affected streets." 

The same number of employees were deployed on Friday in the affected areas to ensure that the achieved cleanliness levels were maintained.

"I urge residents to refrain from illegally dumping waste, especially during protests. This not only puts a burden on the city’s resources, but also on the well-being of the affected community," De Jager said.

On Friday, the justice, crime prevention, and security (JCPS) cluster of ministers said government viewed the attack on police officers in the Johannesburg CBD by foreign shop owners this week as an attack on the state.

Ministers in the cluster said the attacks, which saw shop owners stone police officers and vehicles during a raid to seize counterfeit goods being sold at outlets, would not go unpunished.

"An attack on the law enforcement agencies is an attack on the state, and government views this in the most serious light. Blatant disregard for our law threatens national security and the sovereignty of our nation," a statement from the ministers said.

"South Africa as a constitutional democracy governed by laws and as such we expect everyone working and living in the country to be doing so legally and in accordance to South Africa’s laws. No person, under any circumstances, has the right to attack officials discharging their duties."

The minister's said the crackdown on the illicit economy was needed as it "results in loss in sales and profits of genuine goods and brands, and could pose health risks to ordinary consumers".

The JCPS cluster would liaise with the international relations department to engage embassies to encourage their citizens to respect South Africa's laws.

African News Agency