The refuse removal workers in Germiston resumed work on Monday, 15 April, after the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality on Friday, 12 April rolled out its contingency plan to clear the refuse removal backlog in the Germiston area created by the illegal strike action.

Over 150 waste management services employees at the Germiston depot had been on strike since Tuesday, 9 April, bringing refuse removal services in the area to a standstill. The metro had also enlisted assistance from surrounding depots and private contractors to begin with the door–to-door refuse collection serviceuntil the matter was resolved.

According to EMM spokesperson, Sam Modiba, “All backlogs were cleared on Tuesday, 16 April, and we are now operating according to the schedule.”

The Metro’s waste management services department has undertaken a rationalization exercise aimed at bringing about efficiencies and cost saving measures. The exercise entailed regrouping of service areas and equal spreading of the work load amongst its depots city wide. The illegal strike action is a reaction to the cost reduction and efficiency measure that management is introducing. The demands are for re-instatement of the old system which has huge financial implications on the operating costs.

“The labour matters which were raised are still being attended to through the unions,” said Modiba, as of Wednesday, 17 April 2013.