Pretoria – The City of Tshwane has initiated talks with refuse collection service providers with a view to finding ways of working together.
This is despite the long-term plans announced by the municipality last week to phase them out of the system.
The City’s manager of waste and environment, Abel Malaka, said the behind-closed-door negotiations were deemed as part of “the interventions” to make sure the municipality continued to deliver services without interruptions.
There have been fears that the service providers might demonstrate their unhappiness against the City’s new approach of using in-house refuse collection trucks by blocking them from disposing of garbage at landfill sites.
Malaka said one of the purposes of the talks was to make sure that workers won’t be stopped from discarding waste at the landfill sites.
Head Administrator Mpho Nawa warned certain service providers whose contracts had not been renewed not to block access to some landfill sites, saying they were not entitled to automatic extension.
“We’ll not be bullied by rogue service providers who block access to our landfill sites we’ll unleash law enforcement on to them,” Nawa said.
On Tuesday, he unveiled the new fleet of specialised vehicles purchased by the municipality to take over refuse collection service previously rendered by private companies. He said the unveiling of 439 vehicles marked the beginning of phasing out private contractors in the municipality.
The newly-purchased trucks would be used to clear rubbish from private businesses while private service providers would be charged with collecting refuse from households.
Nawa made the announcement after the City failed to collect refuse in parts of the city last week.
Refuse was not collected after the metro could not appoint new contractors before the expiry of the contract which expired in July and subsequently extended by a month.
Nawa said taking over refuse collection from private contractors would in the long run save the city at least R3.3billion, which was previously spent on a three-year fleet management contract.
“Ordinarily in one day we would pay R10000 for one truck. Within a year we would have concluded paying for these trucks and we would have increased the capacity, retained jobs and provided better services.”