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Councillor Anthony Still - Service Delivery Issues Nov 2015

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This is just a short note on the Pikitup strike and some sympathy on the many water and power outages that residents have been experiencing . For those who want to read more about the reasons behind the strike I suggest you read Martin William's article in the Citizen today. I have also today written on the matter to the Business Day. They may or may not publish this but it is appended below for interest.

Martin Williams points out that there is a new breakaway Union so there is also something of a turf war. Samwu are flexing their more radical muscles to retain members. Shades of NUM and AMCU in the mining sector. But the workers will lose massively - and this just before Xmas. Expect aggressive demands for Xmas bonuses which you must not provide. Pikitup management also requests you to refrain.

There are a number of demands being made by Samwu. They are not all reasonable. In my experience SAMWU (the Municipal Workers Union) is one of the most spoilt unions in the country. And spoilt children ask for more. But there are some genuine matters and it appears that communications between the parties is very poor.

I do not anticipate an end to the strike this week. So much for background.

Finally, if you have not signed the petitions (Open Spaces and George Lea Park) that I sent out in my last newsletter I urge you to do so - the more signatures the stronger our case

Regards Anthony Still Ward 90 Councillor 082 820 8342 awstill57@gmail.com



  1. What should you do?
  2. City Power and Joburg Water 
  3. Business Day letter on Pikitup


1. What should you do?

I do not think that Pikitup will be able to get contractors in to clear domestic refuse - at least not this week. They are using the Red Ants in the CBD and Braamfontein, but need vehicles with lift capacity for the suburbs. So, you must either leave your bins outside and add bags to the heap, or bring your bins inside if you wish to. If this becomes too much then take your refuse - bagged - to your local garden site. They have no option but to now accept domestic refuse as long as it is in bags. Many residents are already doing this.

If you feel conscientious spray some of the contents with Doom or equivalent as the flies will be hatching soon and doing anything to reduce an outbreak will help. 


2. City Power and Joburg Water

I cannot add to what I said in my last letter in late November other than to say that I know residents have been having a lot of outages - particularly in Craighall, Craighall Park, and Hyde Park. I have tried to do what I can to help but City capacity is stretched and they are unresponsive to requests for information. I expect that matters will improve soon and I hope that we do not have further serious outages this Xmas.

Thanks to those in the residents Associations who do so much to help in these matters. I will give them a special thank-you by name in my last letter before Xmas.


3. Business Day letter on Pikitup

The Pikitup strike refers. The City and Pikitup have been hoist on their own petard. Why? Back in late 2010 the Pikitup staff went on strike, at the behest of Samwu – the Municipal Workers Union. The demand then was for Pikitup to take the staff from the private sector waste operators - who at the time collected about 40 % of the City’s garbage on contract. The reason behind this was to swell the number of Samwu members. For the then private sector staff this was a no brainer as they would  get a significantly increased salary (in the region of 45%) by joining Pikitup. The City capitulated. It was, after all, not far from the 2011 local Government elections. Over the next two years approximately 2000 staff were  added to Pikitup’s payroll.

Other than the massively increased service delivery cost that this caused there were other consequences. There was and is now no “standby” capacity for an emergency such as now – this being operators with vehicles with lift capacity. If the Private sector was still contracted for parts of the City then they could have serviced  the whole City (obviously with overtime) for the duration of a strike. But now only Pikitup has lift capacity in this town. Moral of the story – never put all your eggs in one basket or you will caught with your pants down when the tide goes out.

Further, it is clear from the current impasse that communication skills by both parties are severely lacking. There are a number of reasons behind the strike but I will not go into these. Except for one. The workers would like Amanda Nair to go. Apart from her paranoid and autocratic management style she has got off scott-free for charges of theft for receiving unauthorized cel-phones and lap-tops. How did she manage this. Well, she had staff sign affidavits that these no longer had value to the company. Really? They still had value to her and the recipients of her largesse, so why not to Pikitup itself.

Finally, the rats may be a nuisance but I advise you to buy a flyswatter if you are staying in Johannesburg this Xmas.

Important Contacts

BEAGLE CONTROL ROOM: 011 678 1972 www.beaglewatch.co.za
HGC Committee: info@hurlingham.org.za security@hurlingham.org.za environment@hurlingham.org.za membership@hurlingham.org.za statements@hurlingham.org.za
Flying Squad: 10 111
Randburg SAPS vehicles: 071 675 7115 / 6
Ambulance: City: 011 375 5911
ER24: 084 124
Netcare 911: 082 911
Randburg Police: 011 449 9115 / 9110 / 9117 10111 for an emergency
Joburg Metro Police: ​011 375 5911
Ward Councillor: 083 459 6152 Martin Williams martcw7@gmail.com
Joburg call centre: 0860-JOBURG
Includes City Parks and Pikitup
See Community Info --> Overview section for a full list of numbers
Water Issues: Joburg Water

011 375 5555
Electricity Issues: http://​www.citypower.co.za ​and click "Fault Reporting" or on mobile http://citypower.mobi
Road Issues: ​hotline@jra.org.za
Environmental Contraventions: 011 587 4232 1st point of contact for any issues arising from the Health Act (noise, restaurants, unsanitary backyards etc) abednigot@joburg.org.za
Pollution: 011 226 8328 WisemanN@joburg.org.za
Revenue Queries: ​011 375 5555
Traffic Signs and Markings: Jurie Swart JRA - Assistant Manager, Traffic Signs and Markings section for Region B jswart@jra.org.za
Region B Contacts and Information: http://hurlingham.alpha.structureit.net/media/48375/Region-B.pdf
Building regulations: 011 407 6111
Eskom: 086 003 7566