The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Tuesday vowed to challenge the recent announcement by newly-elected mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba that he planned to privatise Pikitup, the city’s rubbish collection entity.
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla in a statement said they would challenge and oppose Mashaba’s plans to outsource the municipality’s mandate to the private sector.
“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 said.
“The federation is unwavering in its opposition to privatisation of public services.”
Mashaba has been adamant, even during the campaign trail ahead of the August 3 Local Government Elections, about his plans to privatise Pikitup and break up the waste removal company into several different parts.
Cosatu is not alone against Mashaba’s plans and the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) also on Tuesday said Mashaba’s dream to sell Pikitup would never come true.
Pamla said privatisation would detrimentally affect the socio-economic interests of the poor and lead to decreased and inferior quality services for the poor since they won’t afford to pay for the services provided by private interests.
“Herman Mashaba’s plan will lead to significant job losses and will foster the casualisation of labour, with more and more workers being hired on limited fixed-term contracts of employment,” Pamla said.
“It will remove workers from the bargaining units established over many years in the public sector, generally leading to a reduction in incomes, benefits and job security.”
Pamla said Cosatu would continue to fight to ensure that municipal services remained the core function of municipalities and that all municipalities did not outsource basic services they were able to render themselves.
– African News Agency (ANA)