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07/07/2016: Appointment at Pikitup and start of the 2016/17 financial year
07 July 2016

M
MC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Councillor Matshidiso Mfikoe statement on the appointment of Pikitup MD
 
The 2015/16 financial year was slightly turbulent for Pikitup. On Tuesday 5 July 2016, the Shareholder representative, Member of the Mayoral Committee Councillor Matshidiso Mfikoe, and the Board of Pikitup met with Management and with SAMWU to reflect on the 2015 / 16 financial year and set the tone for the start of the new financial year. 
 
Over the past 5 years, Pikitup has transformed from a company in a state of disarray with total net liabilities in excess of R 320 million at the end of the 2011 / 12 financial year, to a total surplus in excess of R 160 million at the end of the 2014 / 15 financial year. Irregular expenditure was miniscule for a R 2 billion per annum entity, down from in excess of R 280 m in 2010 / 11 to R 23.5 m in 2014 / 15.
 
We are busy preparing for the local government elections and, for the benefit of the opposition, irregular expenditure is expenditure on service delivery that did not follow normal procedures and is not corrupt and wasteful. In fact, the company received a clean audit for the 2014/15 financial year, it’s first clean audit in the history of its existence, and a testimony to good  corporate governance.
 
The company was also adjudicated to have the best integrated annual report for 2014/15. However, good financial performance in the absence of service delivery is meaningless.  The recently released current Quality of Life Survey shows an 85.2% level of satisfaction with waste removal services. In addition, 81 105 tonnes of builders’ rubble, green waste and recyclable were diverted from landfill sites in 2014/15 and this more than doubled to 170 501 tonnes, for 2015/16  notwithstanding the disruption as a result of labour stoppages.
 
Except for the periods of labour unrest the City experienced high levels of cleanliness during the past financial year. The company also was at the forefront of the implementation of the new Jozi@Work programme with 1 420 members of co-ops in communities employed in hostel cleaning and clearing illegal dumping spots. 
 
Pikitup experienced 36 days of unprotected and illegal labour action over the period 23 November 2015 to 9 April 2016. This impacted on residents as a result of service delivery failures and the City, under the leadership of Mayor Tau, took extraordinary steps to ensure that the risks of a health disaster were avoided and that services were maintained. In fact, the City Manager invoked his legislative powers and established a Joint Operations Centre that saw the reinstatement of services and the clearing of accumulated backlogs of dumping that predated the strike City wide.
 
By 30 April 2016, following the end to the illegal work stoppage on 9 April 2016, there was an over 90% recovery and the recovery was completed simultaneously with normal service delivery thereafter. The active participation of citizens in clean ups, separation of waste at home and delivery to garden sites or pick up points must be applauded and marked a turning point in awareness that we must be responsible, in our communities and in the workplace, in sustaining good practice. Pikitup experienced 36 days of unprotected and illegal labour action over the period 23 November 2015 to 9 April 2016.
 
This impacted on residents as a result of service delivery failures and the City, under the leadership of Mayor Tau, took extraordinary steps to ensure that the risks of a health disaster were avoided and that services were maintained. In fact, the City Manager invoked his legislative powers and established a Joint Operations Centre that saw the reinstatement of services and the clearing of accumulated backlogs of dumping that predated the strike City wide. By 30 April 2016, following the end to the illegal work stoppage on 9 April 2016, there was an over 90% recovery and the recovery was completed simultaneously with normal service delivery thereafter.
 
The active participation of citizens in clean ups, separation of waste at home and delivery to garden sites or pick up points must be applauded and marked a turning point in awareness that we must be responsible, in our communities and in the workplace, in sustaining good practice. 
 
In mid-April, the Shareholder and the Board welcomed the CCMA public interest intervention, sponsored by COSATU, which saw agreement between SAMWU, the City and Pikitup. The parties have demonstrated their commitment to the letter and spirit of the agreement, which saw the implementation of salary parity for general workers throughout the City, over the past three months. 
 
The parties have agreed that there is no place for unprotected labour action and unprofessional and unacceptable work place conduct in general. Every effort is being made to ensure a new era of harmonious labour relations at Pikitup and in the City. 
 
Following the meetings on Tuesday the Shareholder and the Board are confident that management and labour are focused on service delivery and ensuring that the City is clean. 
 
In the course of the unprotected labour action, SAMWU, on 10 March 2016, delivered a dossier of allegations against the MD, Ms Amanda Nair, to the City of Joburg Group Risk and Assurance Services. 
 
The Shareholder, with the full support of the Board, appointed independent auditors to investigate the allegations to avoid any perceptions or reality of bias and interference. The Board also resolved that it would, in consultation with the Shareholder, act on any findings emanating from the investigation. The investigation conducted by SM Xulu Consulting (Pty) Ltd and Qhubeka Forensic Services has now been completed and Management and SAMWU were informed yesterday that: 
 
1.   The report identifies weaknesses in internal policies and controls which resulted in actions that were not disclosed to the Board. The Board resolved as far back as May 2015 that internal policies should be reviewed. This is in progress and will be expedited. 
 
2.   The report identifies some wrong doing in the areas of human resource management and financial management. Appropriate action will be taken with the individuals involved. 
 
3.   In addition to the findings of the independent investigation, the Board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities identified matters of non-compliance and wrong doing and appropriate action will be taken with the individuals involved. 
 
4.   The overall responsibility for day to day management of the company, including compliance with  local government legislation and regulations and Pikitup policies, resides with the MD who reports and accounts to the Board. The Board has accordingly informed the MD, Ms Nair, that she is required to attend an enquiry in terms of section 188A of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 to deal with the evidence concerning the allegations and to give her an opportunity to  respond thereto. The special leave of the MD will remain in force. 
 
5.   The parties are entitled to confidentiality in the process at this stage, We are pleased to announce that Mr Lungile Dhlamini, the MD of Joburg Water, has been appointed as Acting MD of Pikitup until further notice. He has an excellent track record at Joburg Water and will bring his expertise and experience to bear in working with the Board, management and staff at Pikitup to address the weaknesses that have been identified. 
 
The Shareholder and the Board also wish to record that at the meetings yesterday, all parties reconfirmed their commitment to the letter and the spirit of the CCMA agreement and it is anticipated that any future recurrence of workplace related grievances and disputes will be dealt with only in terms of existing or prescribed dispute resolution procedures in terms of the Labour Relations Act. We are confident that illegal strike action, which caused unnecessary hardship to employees and placed the health and well-being of residents of Joburg at risk, has been consigned to the past. 
 
ENDS 
 
For all media queries: 
 
Jacky Mashapu 
Pikitup Spokesperson 
Cell: 079 506 0568 
Tel: 087 357 1193 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
 
 
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Last Updated on 20 July 2016