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Numsa claims Putco is dumping human waste near depot where suspended workers assemble

Putco has denied this allegation.

Ernest Mabuza Journalist
Numsa alleges Putco treats its suspended workers in an inhumane manner, an allegation the company denies.
Numsa alleges Putco treats its suspended workers in an inhumane manner, an allegation the company denies.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

Numsa has alleged Putco is dumping human waste near a depot in Nancefield, Soweto, as part of an alleged “reign of terror” against suspended workers. 

Numsa says at least 120 workers were suspended by Putco because the company allegedly tried to withhold increases for workers. The union says this matter goes back to 2022 when hundreds of workers embarked on a work stoppage because Putco management refused to pay the 6% wage increase and a bonus due to workers. 

“Our members at the depot in Nancefield in Soweto are alleging that Putco empties out the portable toilets in an open field a few metres from where they are forced to sit and this is in a residential area.

“It seems it is illegally dumping waste material in a residential area, and because of the heat, the stench of the waste is permanently in the air,” Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said in a statement on Wednesday.

She said if this allegation was true, this it was a gross violation of dignity and showed the level of disdain Putco had for African workers, and the community of Soweto. 

Putco said Numsa's statement was a “blatant lie”.

“Our investigation has revealed that the mobile toilet depicted in the video was reported as faulty with a water leak and did not contain any human waste.

“At the time the video was taken on February 18, the service provider had just delivered a new unit and was transporting the leaking one out of the depot,” Putco said.

It said a formal report by the external service provider explained that the driver was draining the remaining water from the faulty unit, to make it safe while driving, before removing it from Putco's premises.

“This peddling of lies is part of their desperate attempt to galvanise public support for employees who face charges of misconduct such as intimidating non-striking employees, damage to property and death threats to company representatives.”

Putco also denied Numsa's allegation that it unlawfully withheld bonuses and salary increases from 2020. The bus company said it applied for an exemption from the 6% salary increase and bonuses for 2020 due to the financial effects of Covid-19.

On Numsa's claims that the company deducted money from suspended workers in December 2023, the company said it paid all its employee salaries in advance.

“Where the suspended employees were absent without authorisation or approved sick leave, the correction was made in the January 2024 payroll.”

 TimesLIVE 


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