ekurhuleni thumb medium85 107The Citizen reports that 150 waste removal workers employed by a waste removal contractor appointed by the City of Ekurhuleni this week defied lockdown regulations by staging a protest in Palm Ridge over unpaid wages.  

According to the directors of the contractor, Nokeng Gundo Waste Management, they had not yet been paid by the city, which led to the monies not being transferred into staffers’ bank accounts.  One of the workers said:  “We did not mean to gather in this way to disobey the lockdown regulations, but we had no choice.  Our families are suffering financially because we have not been paid our salaries since 25 March.  We are being given excuses daily, while we are expected to report for work.”  Another said:  “It is unacceptable that we are being given food parcels instead of being paid our salaries.  In waste collection, we work under very hazardous conditions, especially now that there is the spread of the coronavirus.”  Ekurhuleni spokesperson Themba Gadebe said the city had “a legal, contractual agreement with Nokeng and has been meeting its legal obligations to the contractor and therefore cannot comment on the labour affairs of Nokeng”.  He added:  “The city condemns in the strongest possible terms the withholding of salaries by any service provider contracted to the city in exchange for food parcels, if the allegation are true.”  But, Nokeng Gundo director Colin Tshivhase blamed the city for payment delays and reiterated that “The City of Ekurhuleni has not paid us yet.”

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