Mashaba: My plan to break up Pikitup’s Monopoly

The following is an extract from a speech delivered by the Democratic Alliance’s Johannesburg Mayoral Candidate, Herman Mashaba, during an oversight visit in Alexandra.

For years, Pikitup has been plagued with systemic problems that have prevented it from fulfilling its duty to keep Johannesburg clean.

Just last week, the Auditor General’s local government report named Pikitup as one of the ‘main contributors’ to increased irregular expenditure in the City.

In 2011/12 alone, Pikitup incurred R572 million in irregular expenditure.

The Pikitup strike earlier this year remains fresh in our minds. It created a public health hazard that endangered our citizens and our economy.

Johannesburg’s streets became a wasteland of rubbish and filth. In some places, residents were walking knee-deep through rubbish.

There was even the the discovery of the bubonic plague in a rat found in Tembisa.

Johannesburg was heading towards an environmental health crisis and there was a real risk of potential outbreaks of diseases and pest infestations.

Yet even today, nearly two months after the strike, we stand here surrounded by rubbish. This is the case in many communities I have been visiting around this city.

One thing is clear: Pikitup is failing to fulfill its purpose.

The City of Johannesburg’s first responsibility should be the protection of its residents.

I have to ask myself, when elected mayor of this great city on 3 August, will I sit by idly and wait for the next, inevitable strike or must I act decisively to ensure that Pikitup’s persistent problems are brought to an end once and for all?

Leadership is about taking difficult decisions and exercising cool judgment. Something that Mayor Tau has failed to do in this situation.

I am here today to tell you that one of my first projects when elected mayor will be to break up the Pikitup monopoly.

Continuing to employ one company exclusively has put the City’s refuse removal and your health at high risk.

Clause 59 of the Service Agreement between the City of Johannesburg and Pikitup states that the City can terminate its agreement with Pikitup by providing 180 days’ notice.

I intend exercising this right.

As mayor, my plan is to prioritise small business in procurement, especially from the townships.

From day one, there will be a transparent and open tender system. No more nepotism. No more backhands. No more slacking.

I will break up Pikitup into a number of smaller and decentralised service providers across Johannesburg’s different regions.

This, in turn, will open up unprecedented entrepreneurial opportunities and create jobs in the fastest growth industry in the 21st century: green technologies.

The beauty of breaking up Pikitup is that if there is another strike or incident of industrial strife, only one region of the City will be negatively impacted. I would then be able to immediately provide support from another refuse collector in one of the other six regions to pick up the slack.

As the jobs Mayor, let me make one more thing clear. Pikitup employees will not lose their jobs. They will be absorbed by successful service providers, and their grievances will be acted on.

Pikitup has been filled with ANC cadres, deployed in upper management and has a poisonous relationship with its employees.

Pikitup Managing Director, Amanda Nair has had a litany of charges brought against her by the SA Municipal Workers Union, yet questionably, she remains comfortable and secure in her office.

This whole debacle was born in Mayor Parks Tau’s office. Again, he failed to use the power of his office to resolve the crisis. In fact, he and his advisers would have known what was coming: But they did nothing.

It is time to break up Pikitup’s corrupt and ineffective monopoly once and for all.

Come 3 August, vote for the change you want to see.


Herman Mashaba

DA Mayoral Candidate: Johannesburg


Taxi violence: Vaadi and Tau missing in action

I condemn the recent taxi violence that has resulted in the death of two taxi bosses and two taxi drivers over the past two days in Johannesburg.

Over the past month, five people have been killed and eleven injured as a result of the ongoing violence.

As the violence continues to spiral out of control, it is the people of Joburg whose lives are put in constant danger. Eight of the eleven injured have been uninvolved members of the public.

When elected mayor on 3 August, I will set up a task team to look into this spiraling violence and work closely with the provincial government and taxi associations to resolve this situation.

I will also increase the budget for the JMPD and ensure that they are better capacitated to deal swiftly and effectively with taxi violence when it emerges.

I acknowledge the crucial role the taxi industry plays in our city, transporting thousands of people on a daily basis. For many residents of Joburg, taxis  are their only form of transport and this highlights the urgency of resolving this matter.

It is clear that transport MEC Ismail Vaadi has lost control of the situation.

At the same time Tau’s silence shows a mayor whose administration lacks the will to deal with this emergency.

I call on Tau to immediately action the reprioritisation of the JMPD to monitor taxi routes and protect innocent commuters and bystanders being caught in the crossfire.

It is also essential that the JMPD work in conjunction with SAPS to ensure maximised visible policing and a quick response to any situation.

The Portfolio Committee on Roads and Transport in the Gauteng Legislature set up an enquiry into the taxi industry early last year, yet the report has not been released.

It is essential that the report is urgently released so that its recommendations can be implemented to bring an end to taxi-related violence in Joburg once and for all.

Until such time, innocent bystanders and motorists will continue to be the victims of violence that has arisen as a result of deep rooted corruption within the ANC administration in Gauteng and Joburg.

I mourn with the families of those killed over the past month. This was completely avoidable had Vaadi and Tau done their jobs properly.

The people of Joburg need to use their vote on 3 August to bring an end to the rot that has set in.

Vote for the change you want to see.


Herman Mashaba

DA Mayoral Candidate: Johannesburg



Ekurhuleni’s elderly and disabled left in the cold by uncaring government

Listening Tour

This morning, as part of my listening tour, I queued with hundreds of elderly and unemployed people from Tsakane, Ekurhuleni from 4am whilst they waited to receive their state social grants.
Many of the people I met had already joined the queue as early as 1am. Their reasons for waiting in temperatures as low as 4 degrees was due to the fact that deductions are made  to their SASSA cards and they would rather have cash. 
Despite many attempts to resolve this, the ANC led government has ignored their plight.

No Income

Many of the people I spoke to have no other income in their households except for these grants and most of the people I spoke to cited unemployment as the major issue affecting them, as their children and grandchildren could not find jobs.
As mayor, I would make sure Ekurhuleni is open for business to ensure that our young people can find jobs and opportunities. Ekurhuleni has lost 110 000 jobs in the first 90 days of this year alone, and since Mondli Gungubele took office in 2010, nearly 680 000 people have lost their jobs in this city.
I would also ensure that our elderly and vulnerable were protected. I would use the provisions of the intergovernmental relations framework act to directly raise this issue with SASSA, as well as direct the social development department of the metro to ensure people are warm and can at least have a place to sit if they are forced to queue for grants due to inefficiency at national government.


Ekurhuleni MMC for Social Development, Makhosazana Mabaso, must join the queue in Tsakane at 4am to experience the hardships that residents go through when receiving their grants. I challenge the MMC to upgrade these facilities to make conditions bearable for all who use the facility.
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