Piles of rubbish left in Randburg. Image: X/@Helenzille

Pikitup to operate over the weekend to clear backlogs amid strike

Pikitup casual workers have been on strike for two weeks over a wage dispute. Here’s the latest you should know.


Piles of rubbish left in Randburg. Image: X/@Helenzille

Pikitup says its waste collection services significantly improved today, with the opening of more depots to serve the residents of the City of Johannesburg.

The company’s waste collection efforts had been severely disrupted by an ongoing casual worker strike, making it difficult to service the metro municipality’s residents. Pikitup casual workers have been on strike for two weeks due to a wage dispute.


Spokesperson Muzi Mkhwanazi said as of Friday, all depots were operational except for the Selby depot, whose operations were adversely affected when casual workers forcefully emptied a Pikitup truck in the city centre. 

Despite this setback, the Selby Depot was able to service areas such as Mayfair and other locations outside of the city centre.

Mkhwanazi confirmed that the following depots successfully provided waste collection services today:

  • Waterval
  • Avalon
  • Southdale
  • Zondi
  • Orange Farm
  • Central Camp
  • Randburg
  • Roodepoort
  • Norwood
  • Midrand
  • Marlboro

He said the Norwood depot could only start working after lunch once protesters were forcefully removed from the gate and the waste blocking the entry was cleared. 

“Pikitup depots will continue to operate over the weekend to clear backlogs,” he added. 

Refuse outside the Noord depot. Image: X/@CleanerJoburg


Meanwhile, the Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (DEMAWUSA) said it wants Pikitup to provide a full explanation of why police were allegedly sent to shoot and arrest its members unprovoked.

The union said on Tuesday night, the City of Johannesburg Metro police wrongfully arrested five of their members without provocation. Eventually, the five workers were released on Thursday. 

“We are delighted that five of our comrades who were wrongfully arrested by Metro Police Tuesday night have been released. 

“Their release and Pikitup’s subsequent withdrawal of the case confirms that the arrests were unjustified. We demand Pikitup provide a full explanation as to why the police were sent to shoot and arrest our members unprovoked,” the union said. 

Additionally, DEMAWUSA said despite entering the second week of negotiations, Pikitup has not provided a meaningful response to their demands or shown intentions to resolve this dispute. 

Pikitup reportedly offers workers R112 or R120 per day, but the union rejects it. 

The union cited that R120 remuneration amounts to an insult, especially when one considers that the minimum wage is even higher. 

The minimum wage is currently R27.50 per hour, translating into a daily rate of R220. The union said R120 reflects exploitation of the highest order and perpetuates extreme poverty. 

“We are fighting for a minimum wage of R72 per hour so that workers can earn a minimum living wage that sustains them.”