Striking workers clean up own mess

ORDER has finally been restored in the Johannesburg CBD after a week of littered, smelly street corners and malfunctioning traffic lights.

Yesterday the same people who overturned dustbins and left trails of litter in the city last week were back at work cleaning up the mess.

"It's been hard since we returned to work on Friday," said Dingaan Mathebula.

"We started working at 2pm and finished at 10pm with a 30-minute break.

"It was cold and we had to clean piles and piles of rubbish on almost every street," 21-year-old Pikitup employee, Mathebula said.

The clean-up began after the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) reached a 13 percent wage increase agreement with the South African Local Government Association (Salga).

By yesterday things were gradually settling down to normal.

Major streets in the city centre had already been swept and piles of refuse bags were becoming a thing of the past.

While Mathebula and his colleagues were cleaning up order was also being restored by the Johannesburg metro police, who resumed their duties after having been on strike.

Electricity was finally restored, much to the relief of city residents and businesses.

Some parts of the city had been without power for a week after an underground fire that left tons of electric cables burnt.