Garbage piles up as landfillworkers down tools in PMB
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.
Domestic rubbish piled up outside the entrance to the New England Road Municipal Dump yesterday.