Rubbish piles up in Durbs as dispute continues

NO SERVICE: Uncollected garbage strewn all over the pavements in Durban. Photo: Thuli Dlamini. 02/10/08. © Sowetan.
NO SERVICE: Uncollected garbage strewn all over the pavements in Durban. Photo: Thuli Dlamini. 02/10/08. © Sowetan.

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The rubbish continues to pile up in Durban and the stench is overwhelming.

For the past two weeks, Durban's solid waste employees have been on strike, demanding that they be permanently employed by the municipality.

To make matters worse, two solid waste trucks were gutted on Wednesday in two separate incidents. The trucks were set alight in KwaDabeka and Clare Road in Luganda township. No one was injured.

Agency-employed workers, members of the South African Agent Labour Brokers Workers Organisation, have been on strike for the past two weeks.

Rubbish bins continue to overflow and employees not on strike are battling to cope.

The workers organisation's Alfred Dludla denied that they were on strike, saying they had been fired by the municipality.

He said after handing over a memorandum to the CCMA offices last week the municipality released a statement saying workers who had embarked on a strike had been fired.

"We are not on strike, but have been fired," Dludla said. "We will not allow anyone to collect waste in the city and its surrounding townships.".

Dludla said about 700 workers were fired, which constitutes about 75 percent of the solid waste workforce.

"This is a crisis and we feel sorry for the residents and businesspeople who have been affected," he said.

eThekwini municipality spokesman James Nxumalo was unavailable for comment.

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