Pretoria - The area in and around the Rooihuiskraal dumping site has become a sorry sight as a result of the ongoing strike by City of Tshwane workers affiliated to the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) two weeks ago.
Scores of public servants took to the streets in protest over non-payment of salary increases.
They were demanding a 5.4% salary increase. The strike affected service delivery, leaving waste removal among the services severely affected.
The Rooihuiskraal dumping site is full and as a result residents are leaving rubbish on the road leading to the facility as well as in Lenchen Road.
According to the City, the strike, which has been deemed illegal and unprotected by the municipality, disrupted delivery in the metro including waste removal and denied patients life-saving health care after some facilities were forced to close.
Speaking last week, mayor Cilliers Brink described the situation as an assault on the metro and called on residents to understand why there was disruption to services.
“The City is under assault by unprotected strike action with the use of violence and intimidation. We are seeing the disruption of services, the delay in attending to water and electricity outages. Waste collection is likely to be affected and our most vulnerable attending clinics are being targeted and personnel are being chased out and clinics are being closed.”
He accused the workers of trying to force management to agree to the salary increase with violence and intimidation while disrupting services. However, he insisted that the municipality could not afford to increase salaries.
“We will be looking at mitigation. But there will be disruption and residents must know what is at stake. What we are fighting for is the future of the city and to secure the jobs of officials and to make sure we have a future in this city,” he said.
The City obtained a court interdict against protesting workers affiliated to the union.
Last week, municipal manager Johann Mettler threatened the striking workers saying they could lose their jobs if they continued with the unlawful strike.
Meanwhile, the metro has come up with a waste collection recovery plan for businesses in the city which the strike continued to hamper because of the backlogs affecting the economy.
Municipal spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said part of the plan was for the police to escort rubbish trucks, adding the City was committed to restoring waste collection, especially for business.
“Compactor trucks have been unable to dispose of waste due to the closure of disposal facilities, creating a mounting backlog,” Mashigo said.
“This plan is part of the City’s ongoing efforts to improve service delivery and provide a healthy and pleasant living environment for its residents.
“This situation highlights the importance of finding a resolution to the strike and ensuring that waste collection and disposal services can operate smoothly,” Mashigo said.