ANC accuses Pikitup strikers of sabotage
Johannesburg - The ANC in Gauteng is "gravely" concerned about the strike by Johannesburg's refuse workers, and believes it is intended to sabotage the party's election campaign.
"It is the timing of the strike during elections that make us to conclude that the strike is orchestrated to sabotage the ANC campaign," spokesperson Dumisa Ntuli said on Tuesday.
He said the matter was raised with the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu).
"Our message to Samwu is that the trashing and vandalism is in complete violation of the 2007 Polokwane conference resolution on defending the democratic state.
Samwu's trashing of streets, destruction of property and attacks on non-strikers were of "grave concern", he said.
The union's spokesperson Tahir Sema however denied claims of sabotage.
"Shifting goal posts in negotiations has been the strategy of the employer. All the union's strikes and campaigns are based on genuine worker concerns and have nothing to do with election politics," he said.
Meanwhile, the Municipality Watchdog asked the City of Johannesburg to appoint contractors to remove waste during the strike, as it was becoming a safety hazard.
"Waste is piling up in and around the city, it is a health risk to the residents and people staying and working in the city," the organisation's André Pieterse said.
"We would also like to see top management of Pikitup and the City of Johannesburg intervene and to do everything in (their) power to bring this strike to an end."
The city should reimburse residents and businesses for service not rendered, he said.
On Monday, the Labour Court dismissed the City of Johannesburg's attempt to stop the three-week-old strike. Samwu welcomed the ruling on Tuesday.
About 80% of the 2000 Samwu members within Pikitup first went on a "go slow", causing a refuse removal backlog in the city.
During the strike, Pikitup managing director Zami Nkosi, Pikitup board chairwoman Phumla Radebe and several other board members resigned.
The strike appeared to be on the brink of ending last week, but a document containing proposals was not signed.