Disgruntled refuse removal workers blocked Mangosuthu Highway in uMlazi on Tuesday, for a second consecutive day.On Monday, protestors barricaded the highway with broken glass bottles, concrete pillars, a bus stop shelter and refuse. This was repeated again on Tuesday morning, allegedly because of domestic refuse collections. Some of the workers are employed by a contractor who has the contract to remove refuse in uMlazi while others had worked as subcontractors. According to the Mercury newspaper the contractor was told to take on additional workers and the municipality would pay but in July 2018 the payments stopped. However, the contractor claimed that he had been owed millions by the municipality and this has caused domestic litter to pile up in the suburb.
EThekwini Municipality’s spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela released a statement saying that they apologise to all residents of uMlazi Township affected by the disruption of refuse collection.EThekwini is in discussion with the main contractor responsible for refuse collection in the area to resolve a labour dispute with its workers with speed. As a temporary measure, the city has made available 21 trucks to collect refuse. There are incidents where some of the city’s trucks were prevented from collecting garbage and the municipality has since asked the Metro Police to escort its trucks to accomplish this essential service. The municipality is appealing to the law enforcement agencies to apprehend anyone interfering with the freedom of movement on any citizen.