South Africa News

Pikitup to advertise more waste picking jobs after protests

The City of Johannesburg and Pikitup management has announced they will advertise additional job opportunities to give casual workers an opportunity to after protests rocked the city of gold this week.

City leaders gave an update on plans to address the waste backlog caused by protesting temporary and volunteering workers who are demanding permanent employment with Pikitup.

Joburg city manager Floyd Brink and Pikitup managing director Bukelwa Njingolo said they were advertising additional job opportunities after waste picking temporary workers around the City, and volunteers at the Pikitup Randburg Depot took to the streets to protest and demand permanent employment.

The staff also alleged corruption and nepotism within the waste management company.

Njingolo said Pikitup will conduct a continuous recruitment campaign, using a phased approach. This follows the recent appointment of 300 workers, which were advertised last December and finalised last week, resulting in the protests.

She said the next recruitment phase would commence within the coming weeks, expected to span this month and conclude by June.

Njingolo explained that they would consider employing the protesting temporary workers, but will also provide an opportunity for unemployed community members to apply for the jobs.

“We do believe that we could have look at considering those who are in partnership with Pikitup, including the casual workers, but we will not necessarily be targeting casual workers because we have a lot of groups that we work with, as Pikitup is assisted by about 3,000 Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers on the ground,” she said.

She further said that they have a database of 101 cooperatives of which under it they have appointed 300 EPWP workers, citing that they contracted with cooperatives not with the waste management company.

Further, she said that there are no direct contracts at Pikitup, but they will take into account the concerns of the protesting casual workers.

Meanwhile, Enos Maake, who has been leading the protest at the Pikitup Randburg Depot since last Thursday, welcomed the measures taken.

“They told us that they are investigating the posts on how they were employed, so we are still waiting for communication to direct us to which unit internally in their offices we should knock at their door to submit our evidence of nepotism because we do have it,” he told the publication.

Maake said that they are looking forward to the upcoming recruitment drive and look forward to the casual and volunteering workers being hired.

As a result of the protest, services were disrupted, as protesters were demonstrating outside the gate of the depots, blocking workers and trucks to render services and leading to a pile-up of trash.

Njingolo outlined measures to address the backlog in the affected areas and said Pikitup is committed to initiating immediate clean-up actions.

Njingolo said that they engaged with the service providers contracted with the waste management company to assist in provision of trucks to clean the areas.

“We requested them to give us an additional fleet, because we have a huge backlog. The compliments that we usually keep on our trucks is about 351, which includes compactors, tipper trucks that deal with illegal dumping, bobcat trucks, and tractor-loader-backhoes (TLB’s),” she told the media.

She further confirmed that five people were arrested in connection to the protest, and said that work is expected to resume in affected depots such as Inner City, Marlboro, Midrand, Norwood, and Roodepoort to clean the backlog of waste.

-IOL

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