Picture: James Mahlokwane
Picture: James Mahlokwane
Picture: James Mahlokwane
Picture: James Mahlokwane
Picture: James Mahlokwane
Picture: James Mahlokwane
Picture: James Mahlokwane
Picture: James Mahlokwane
Picture: James Mahlokwane
Picture: James Mahlokwane

Pretoria - Hundreds of waste management workers occupied the streets of Pretoria on Monday morning in a march against the municipality to use outsourced service providers.

The waste management workers were led by the South African Municipal Workers Union from Marabastad to Tshwane House, expecting mayor Solly Msimanga to accept their memorandum.

The workers permanently employed by the city demand the city to axe outsourced service providers if it truly did not condone corruption and wasteful expenditure.

The workers claimed that there was suspected corruption and collusion between the city's waste management department senior and the service providers.

They claimed that some these service providers used the city's fleet and the city's workers in rendering service. They said, subsequently, it did not make sense why the city paid these service providers.

"There is serious corruption in the city and the mayor was told about it by us last year. We do not understand why we used to be able to collect waste with only 40 trucks but now there are 150 trucks doing the same job. By 10am we are done collecting waste as permanent workers all because there are lots of service providers working with us. This is a huge cost to the city that benefits some corrupt officials.

"We want management to be replaced at the city's waste management department. We suspect they are getting kick backs. They are using outsourced service providers even in cases where they are not necessary. We want the city to conduct lifestyle audits on those senior officials," said worker Salome Mashishi.

The union said the workers have also not received personal protective equipment such as safety gloves, boots and uniform for years despite the law stating that as a prerequisite.

The march is also supposed to bring attention to the workers demands for equal benefits, such as medical aids, just like other municipal workers.

Mothwa Matlala from Samwu said: "the city has been outsourcing waste management over the last couple of years and that is wrong. Waste collection has always been a big and important part of municipal functions. The DA administration has intensified the outsourcing of waste management despite opposition from workers,"

The workers claimed that the city intends to convert them into contract workers who will work for outsourced service providers. They said they intend to fight for their jobs and to ensure that all contract workers hired by service providers are absorbed by the city and then service providers are suspended.

The workers have given the city 14 days to respond to their memorandum and replace waste management senior managers.

They suspect that managers and politically connected people were benefiting from these 'unnecessary' service providers which deplete the city's coffers.

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Pretoria News