The city of Ekurhuleni has dismissed 40 waste collection workers for being engaged in gross misconduct. The dismissed employees were rendering waste collection services, mainly in Kempton Park.

Their dismissal followed violent incidents over the weekend where at least one refuse removal truck of a contractor was torched in Bredell on Saturday.

Themba Gadebe, metro spokesperson, said in a statement issued on Monday afternoon that the workers went on rampage on Saturday, harassing, assaulting and intimidating a crew that was doing round collections. In that incident a truck driver and an operator were doused with petrol but managed to escape uninjured before their truck was set alight. Other incidents of lawlessness implicating the dismissed employees include:

  • Using municipal trucks to prevent vehicles that are used for litter pickers and transfer station employees, from exiting the depot, thus disrupting service delivery.
  • The perpetrators were not even scheduled to perform functions on Saturday and their presence at the depot can only be construed to have been for the purpose of disrupting the operations of the metro.
  • Four trucks belonging to service providers were turned away and they could not render the service to the public. Last Tuesday municipal employees left their work station to intimidate and harass private contractors who were busy with refuse removal rounds in another area.

“The City has summarily terminated the employment of these 40 based at the Kempton Park waste depot with immediate effect in accordance with Labour Relations legislation which provides for immediate dismissal in circumstances that call for dispensing with the pre-dismissal procedures.

“The City views this conduct as constituting exceptional circumstances as envisaged in Schedule 8 (4), sub-section 4 of the Labour Relations Act, whereby pre-dismissal procedures may be dispensed with,” Gadebe said.

“The City views the appalling conduct of these employees as rendering their continued employment intolerable. The conduct of these employees is clearly endangering the lives and safety of people in the municipality as well as service providers, and there is a high propensity for the continuation of damages to the property of the municipality and service providers should these persons continue in the service of the municipality.”

Gadebe said the City would implement an operational plan to clear the backlog and continue rendering these services in a safe environment for its waste collection workers.

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