WATCH: Sewerage, rubbish dumped in Bronkhorstspruit streets
Pretoria - Residents of Bronkhorstspruit are so fed-up of the the litter blocking roads in their town an especially the raw sewerage which has been dumped in the main streets as a result of the municipal wage strike, that they turned to court in the late hours of Wednesday night for an urgent interdict.
Gauteng High Court, Pretoria Judge Dawie Fourie, issued an interim interdict against the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and its members to immediately stop dumping waste and sewerage in the streets.
The union was also provisionally interdicted from instigating its members to line the streets with litter and sewerage.
The police were ordered to ensure law and order in the town and to arrest any of the workers and union members who dumped waste in the streets.
The City of Tshwane was meanwhile ordered to immediately clean the dirty and smelly streets.
Rubbish and sewerage has been dumped in the streets of Bronkhorstspruit as part of the Samwu strike. Video: Supplied
As the application was launched as a matter of extreme urgency and late at night, the parties have not yet filed any papers stating their side.
Judge Fourie, however, gave them until August 11 to do so, before he confirmed or discharged the interim interdict.
One of the residents, Carenesta de Jager, said in an affidavit to the court that the situation is totally out of hand.
Apart from cars being unable to drive in the streets which are blocked with waste, the latest ploy of spilling human waste all over the streets is causing a serious health risk.
The residents said they are not taking any issue with the union’s wage dispute, but they definitely cannot tolerate trying to make their way among all the rubbish and human waste in the streets.
The municipal workers at first dumped truck loads of rubbish which they had collected from households and businesses at the busiest intersections in town.
De Jager said the police did not try to stop them, even when they dumped a truckload in front of the local police station.
The residents were angry, De Jager said, but they did not take any legal action at the time as word was that the union members were in negotiations to reach a settlement on the wage dispute.
However, things came to a head on Wednesday, when workers allegedly hijacked a truck which collected human waste and drove it into town.
Several workers stood on top of the truck and pumped the sewerage into the main street, as well as various intersections.
This included in front of the two main shopping centres, in full view of the public.
De Jager said to make matters worse, the human waste was dumped on route to the primary and high schools in town.
Hundreds of people who were in the main road had to try and make their way around the waste.
De Jager said they were told that the union members were planning on disrupting the sewerage system by switching off critical pumps.
This would disrupt the flow of sewerage and cause it to flow back into the system.
“Should this happen, the consequences would be devastating.
“It would flow into the river and affect more than a hundred thousand people.”
De Jager said it was a matter of life and death, especially during the threat of coronavirus and the court’s urgent intervention was needed.