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Labour disputes and lack of functionality: Here’s what the eThekwini Municipality has to say about DSW woes

 

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Durban – The eThekwini Municipality has this week responded to some of the sore points raised during a DA-led investigation into the state of affairs at Durban Solid Waste (DSW).

IOL got in touch with the Municipal spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela, to ask about the labour practices at DSW in light of the recent strike over the alleged unfair treatment of volunteer drivers.

We also asked them about the state of the DSW depots throughout the metropolitan area, which are located in Chatsworth, Springfield Park and Clairwood.

This is after the DA’s Ward 33 councillor Sakhile Mngadi released his findings from the investigation.

Mngadi, as well as a close source inside DSW, revealed that the three depots were non-functional. Therefore, leaving DSW with no choice but to transport the garbage to Illovo in the south or Buffelsdraai in the north of the region.

On the issue of volunteer truck drivers, Mayisela said that the City follows strict but fair labour practices and that the drivers do not automatically qualify for the job despite their voluntary efforts.

Labour disputes and lack of functionality: Here’s what the eThekwini Municipality has to say about DSW woes
Rubbish piles up in Durban CBD as DSW workers go on a go slow after disagreements with the city regarding over time payments. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

“We do, however, have development programmes designed to assist in equipping staff with knowledge and experience so that they can apply for positions which they qualify for in the future, or when such positions are advertised. Taking part in a development programme does not imply automatic employment if such a position opens in the future.

“The advertising of the position and the necessary recruitment process will be followed. Individuals engaged in the development programme still have to apply and compete for advertised positions,” he said.

IOL asked him why the City hasn’t come up with a solution to fix the three broken depots.

Mayisela said: “There are various transfer stations strategically located within the City. This includes Flower Road transfer station (Clairwood), Chatsworth transfer station and Electron Road transfer station (Springfield). The Electron Road transfer station is operational, and the operational hours are 07:00 – 17:00.

“Disposed waste from this transfer station is transported through the long hauls to the outer lying landfill site, which is Buffelsdraai. This is time-consuming the traffic and the distance and impacts on the turnaround time. This, therefore, leads to temporary closures during the day to accommodate availability of waste storage containers.

“The Chatsworth transfer station is operational with limitations on containers. Currently, there are repairs being done on containers to bring the site back to its full capacity. The Flower Road transfer station in Clairwood is temporarily closed due to construction which is aimed at upgrading the facility.

“The availability of transfer stations makes it economical for temporary disposal of waste. However, waste has to be finally placed at a landfill site where it will be properly landfilled, observing all government regulations. The City has two landfill sites, which are Buffelsdraai and Lovu, both located at far North and far South, respectively.”

Labour disputes and lack of functionality: Here’s what the eThekwini Municipality has to say about DSW woes
The impact of DSW strike in Durban has left the City with uncollected refuse. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

But sources inside DSW say this is not the case.

For the past five years or more, the Chatsworth depot on Sunset Avenue, has been in a slow state of decay and has also been taken over by ‘amapara’, who appear to be managing the state property.

The source revealed that Springfield and Chatsworth depots only work for around three hours per day, and not 10, as stated by Mayisela.

 

Original Article

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