Pikitup image Former Jozi@Work employees have been on the rampage recently, after their demands for permanent employment were turned down.

According to the waste management service provider the protests, which turned violent last week, are costing the company R50 000 per day.

“The additional R49.2 million which has been allocated to Pikitup through the adjustment budget in a bid to clean up our City is wasted, if we are to use these funds to clean up after criminals. This means that our residents in the inner city, and informal settlements, are being robbed of the services they are entitled to.”

Pikitup said that the three-month contracts signed by former Jozi@Work employees through the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), expired in May this year.

“We wish to reiterate that the we have been clear about the temporary and rotational nature of the contracts and have at no point stated or implied that anyone would be entitled to an extension, or that the three-month contracts would result in full-time employment,” the service provider said.

Vandalism and violence

According to Pikitup former Jozi@Work employees vandalised city property, looted shops, assaulted a Pikitup employee, and threatened and harassed many others for much of last week.

“Pikitup wishes to place it on record that its employees are not on strike. The entity has simply distanced itself from the incidences of vandalism, assault and hijacking of our trucks, perpetrated by former employees of the Jozi@Work programme,’ the company said.

Pikitup said they have reason to believe that the criminal behaviour was organised by a third party, as the company had seen footage showcasing how these individuals were systematically dropped off at various locations, after which they vandalise city infrastructure, turned over skips, hijacked waste removal trucks and dumped the waste in the inner city.

“As a result, Pikitup’s cleaning schedule has been severely disrupted, and over the course of the past seven days we could only attempt to clean the mess left behind, under the watchful eye of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), in an effort to protect our employees.

We will not be deterred from delivering on our mandate to keep the streets of Johannesburg clean. We are working closely with the JMPD and the Yeoville, Hillbrow and Central South African Police Service (SAPS), to ensure that our employees can work in safety, and that perpetrators are held to account,” the service provider concluded.