The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has strongly criticized Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s plans to have Pikitup privatized.
Just a week as Joburg mayor, Mashaba is already in a row with Cosatu. Slamming the plan, the federation stated that the newly-elected mayor ought not to privatize the public service agent because it will give room for anti-workers and anti-union policies.
Cosatu spokesperson, Sizwe Pamla said:
“We are ready and willing to collapse and shut down the city of Johannesburg, if Mayor Mashaba thinks that he is going to do the bidding of his friends from the Free Market Foundation by introducing their anti-worker and anti-union policies.”
Pamla further argued that privatization of Pikitup will definitely lead to significant job losses and will enhance the casualisation of labour, with more and more workers being hired on limited fixed-term contracts of employment.
The union’s reaction is coming after Mashaba expressed enthusiasm on Tuesday, to dump the Johannesburg’s strike-ridden waste management service.
Johannesburg Mayor Insists On Privatizing Pikitup
Speaking during an interview with reporters on Day Two of his resumption as Joburg mayor, breaking Pikitup into seven smaller parts will be his directive, unless his MMC [member of the mayoral committee] for infrastructure can convince him otherwise.
He assured reporters that Pikitup’s 4,500 employees will not be fired and he would ensure that the seven entities hired more people to keep the city clean.
He said: “My No1 priority is to break it up into seven pieces and give it to small businesses. Not one of the 4500 employees will lose their jobs. All the money paid to ANC cadres who are executives and board members, we will arrange with the entrepreneurs to use that money to hire more people and get our city clean.”
In addition, the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) also supported Cosatu’s assertions on Tuesday by describing Mashaba’s dream to sell Pikitup, as a pie in the sky dream.
Samwu spokesman Papikie Mohale said: “Our position is that municipalities don’t exist for profit-making but rather the provision of services. That [privatisation] we are going to oppose totally and we are going to oppose it whatever way we can.”