Pikitup explains why refuse has not been picked up in Joburg

Uncollected refuse piles up in Midrand.
Uncollected refuse piles up in Midrand.
Image: John Williams

Concerns are growing that Pikitup’s failure to collect refuse could become a health hazard in some parts of Johannesburg.

Pikitup has been unable to collect refuse in parts of Midrand and Soweto due to job seekers who have staged a protest at some of its depots.

Pikitup spokesperson Muzi Mkhwanazi said their employees were not on strike. However‚ they were unable to operate because of people who were demanding jobs from the waste management company.

“The people protest outside our gates and prevent trucks from leaving the depots‚” explained Mkhwanazi.

He said the job seekers were threatening employees’ lives. “Today a truck was stoned in Westbury during collection. Two weeks ago another truck was stoned at Zondi depot and the Central Camp depot was set alight last week‚” said Mkhwanazi. Another truck was set alight two weeks ago in Diepkloof‚ Soweto.

He said in the interim‚ Pikitup would ask police and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) to escort their trucks collecting refuse.

The affected depots were Midrand‚ Central Camp near Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and Zondi in Soweto.

One concerned resident is John Williams who lives in Midrand. He said refuse was piling up and they had not received any communication about when refuse collection would resume.

An estate manager in Midrand said they had to use a private refuse collector to remove garbage: “I tried to call the depot because I wanted to find out if they’ll be collecting this week and they didn’t pick up the phone.”

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