Nelson Mandela Bay refuse collectors' strike enters fifth day, no end in sight

SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

The South African Municipal Workers' Union (SAMWU)-led refuse collectors' strike in Nelson Mandela Bay that began on Monday entered its fifth day on Friday, with no indications from the municipality or SAMWU on when it might end.

On Thursday, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality advised residents that the strikers had forced the closure of the Mafanasekhaya Gqobose and Lilian Diedericks buildings, where the Metro has Customer Care Centres.

The protest action has led to disruption of refuse collection in the Metro. 

Meanwhile, the municipality says that a number of engagements and negotiations have been undertaken to find an amicable solution to the matter, but so far no agreement has been reached.

"The Municipality wishes to inform residents that a contingency plan is in place to mitigate the impact of the strike. Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality would also like to indicate to the striking employees that a 'no work, no pay' principle will apply to those who will be part of the strike," it said.

"The Municipality will also strictly monitor the strike for any incidents of lawlessness and destruction of property by striking employees. 

"Disciplinary actions will be taken against those found to be part of such acts, and the law will take its course. Residents and ratepayers who can afford to take their refuse to the nearest transfer stations are requested to do so in the meantime. 

"Residents and ratepayers will be kept informed of developments regarding the strike action."

This is the second waste collectors' strike to hit the new Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip's, multi-party coalition administration in less than a month after a similar one in August.  

On Tuesday, the striking workers laid seige to City Hall and left it in a mess.