Waste pickers in Roodepoort plan to protest

The informal waste collectors have raised concerns over Pikitup's plan to appoint service providers to separate waste and recyclable material. Photo: Supplied

The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) has announced that it has received information about a planned demonstration by waste pickers operating in the areas of Roodepoort, Randburg and Northcliff.

The demonstration follows clashes between Pikitup and the informal waste pickers over a new policy which will see the appointment of service providers to carry out the separation of waste and recyclable material in the above-mentioned areas.

The protest was meant to take place in Braamfontein on 5 July, but was cancelled as the waste pickers had not received the relevant documentation and a protest permit from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department. Vanessa Pillay, a representative from Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), said the protest will now take place on Monday 10 July.

Lungile Dlamini, the Managing Director of Pikitup said the waste management entity had met with the informal workers to discuss their grievances.

“We did consult with WIEGO and the South African Waste Pickers Associations, as well as the waste pickers operating at Pikitup’s landfill sites.

The consultative meetings were held in September and October 2016 respectively, culminating into a two-day workshop which was held in May 2017. We want to explore ways to work together with all these entities, but Pikitup does have the responsibility of ensuring that waste is removed faster and effectively, and must comply with that responsibility”, he said.

The Waste Characterisation Study of 2015, which was conducted by Aurecon on behalf of the CoJ and Pikitup, shows the following waste generation statistics:

· Low income areas generate 6,63kgs of waste per person per week;

· Middle income areas generate 7,3kgs of waste per person per week; and

· High income areas generate 7,21kgs of waste per person per week.

The waste pickers are concerned that Pikitup’s new policy will interfere with their livelihoods.

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Khanyisile Molaba

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