Garbage­ piles­ up­ as­ land­fill­work­ers­ down­ tools­ in­ PMB

The Witness - - NEWS -

HEAPS of garbage were piled up along New Eng­land Road out­side the Msun­duzi dump­site yes­ter­day as land­fill work­ers downed tools and blocked the en­trance to the land­fill site.

They were protest­ing against un­favourable work­ing con­di­tions and over­time pay­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to GroundUp, the work­ers at the New Eng­land Land­fill site blocked rub­bish trucks from ac­cess­ing the dump­site, so the garbage was dumped in the street and at the en­trance.

GroundUp said the work­ers were com­plain­ing about be­ing un­der­staffed, the avail­able ma­chin­ery not be­ing safe to use and over­time pay­ments.

The Wit­ness vis­ited the dump­site yes­ter­day af­ter­noon and were met with a hor­ri­ble stench of garbage that had filled the air as well as the sight of heaps of garbage tossed on the side of the road.

By the af­ter­noon, the strik­ing work­ers had left the dump­site and The Wit­ness was not al­lowed onto the prop­erty by se­cu­rity.

A waste picker, who asked not to be named, told The Wit­ness that there had been a meet­ing be­tween the land­fill work­ers and Msun­duzi man­agers. He said af­ter the meet­ing the strik­ing work­ers left and a mu­nic­i­pal truck started clear­ing the garbage off the road and cleared the en­trance to the dump­site.

“The whole en­trance was blocked off, no one could get in or out and I think that’s why the rub­bish trucks chose to dump ev­ery­thing on the side of the road,” said the young man.

Msun­duzi spokesper­son Thobeka Ma­fum­batha said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was aware of the work­ers’ com­plaints re­gard­ing the work­ing con­di­tions at the land­fill site.

“They are say­ing that the en­vi­ron­ment is not con­ducive and there is a back­log in terms of fix­ing the bro­ken ma­chin­ery which they need to do their jobs. They are also con­cerned about the de­lays in the fill­ing of va­cant po­si­tions,” she said.

Ma­fum­batha said some tried to raise the is­sue of work­ing more over­time but were re­minded that coun­cil had re­solved to re­duce over­time across the mu­nic­i­pal­ity as part of the cost con­tain­ment mea­sures. “We are com­mit­ted to fix­ing the bro­ken ma­chin­ery and as a mu­nic­i­pal­ity we are also in the process of fill­ing the crit­i­cal posts, which in­clude those in waste man­age­ment be­cause it is one of our crit­i­cal de­part­ments,” she said.

She said from the en­gage­ments Msun­duzi had with the work­ers they were con­fi­dent that the sit­u­a­tion would be back to nor­mal to­day.

She said the strike at the land­fill site did not af­fect the col­lec­tion of refuse from around the City.

— GroundUp, Wit­ness Re­porter.

PHOTO: IAN CARBUTT

Do­mes­tic rub­bish piled up out­side the en­trance to the New Eng­land Road Mu­nic­i­pal Dump yes­ter­day.

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