#ICYMI: PICS: Alex trashed

Some residents of Alex are hard at work during the A Re Sebetseng campaign.

Thirteen of 23 former employees of the [email protected] programme, arrested on 5 February after a violent protest, were released by the Alexandra Magistrates’ Court.

The remainder will reappear in court 12 February.

Alex residents gather rubbish after a protest by former [email protected] employees. Photo: Leseho Manala

They were arrested after allegedly attacking security guards at a Pikitup depot in Marlboro and intimidating Pikitup workers resulting in rubbish in the suburb and nearby Alexandra not being collected. The protesters are also said to have overturned a vehicle of a Pikitup service provider and held depot staff hostage until police intervened.

Read: Lungile Dhlamini appointed as new managing director of Pikitup

The City said the protesters, from a total of 360 in the township out of 8 000 in the entire city, are demanding an extension of their temporary contracts which were terminated December last year.

The City’s MMC for Environmental and Infrastructure Nico de Jager had earlier said an investigation was in progress and ringleaders and instigators would be arrested and prosecuted.

The public took matters into their own hands during the Pikitup strike.

The protest followed one in early January, prompted by former employees accusing Pikitup of not informing them of the expiry date of their contract. According to the City, this is despite their signing contracts stipulating a clear start and end date.

The City added that the move is linked to new short-term contracts entered into by the City with the government-sponsored, Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) beneficiaries, pending Pikitup’s rollout of a new community upliftment programme replacing Jo[email protected]

The City said preventing both Pikitup and EPWP employees from executing their cleaning duties was unacceptable.
Meanwhile, DA councillor Shadrack Mkhonto said to avert a likely health hazard, community members requested and were issued refuse bags to collect the rubbish to be picked up by trucks escorted by Metro police.

Councillor Shadrack Mkhonto (centre) engages residents on cleaning up trash after [email protected] staff protest. Photo: Leseho Manala

ANC councillor Adolph Marema decried the delay in introducing the new programme and other initiatives of the City, saying this prompted service delivery-related protests.

He urged the City to prioritise the former employees in the new programme.

Details: Environment and Infrastructure Services Department 083 899 2127.


Leseho Manala

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