The municipality in urgent need of public partnership to improve image
The negative perception of the Capital as one the dirtiest cities has Msunduzi leadership really concerned. This follows several media reports about waste that is found lying in all unexpected areas all around the city. This means certain areas of the city fail to properly dispose of waste and as such this gives the municipality a very bad image.
The situation has meant that the council needed to come up with new strategies of dealing head-on with the issue of illegal dumping. Addressing the issue of waste and illegal dumping, the Mayor Themba Njilo said the complaints from the different sections of the community are quite legitimate and went on to say the direct intervention of the community may help ease the situation.
“Indeed, one of the municipality’s mandates is to ensure a safe and clean environment, which includes waste management. Living in a clean environment is one of those rights enshrined in the constitution. It is for this reason that as Msunduzi we will continue addressing illegal dumping, not only in the inner city but also in townships and areas under the control of aMakhosi,” said the Mayor.
Njilo further said: “As the municipality we can buy trucks and hire security personnel to monitor the situation but it is only through the active involvement of the communities that our efforts will begin to yield tangible results. It is the community that can discourage the scoundrels that continue to breed waste, giving our city such bad image,” concluded the Mayor with an indignant tone.
In visiting some of the areas of concern with an aim of soliciting views from communities, what became apparent was the issue of overcrowding among the city dwellers. This has a negative impact in that the waste produced cannot be disposed of in the waste plastic bags provided by the municipality. As a consequence of that, the municipality has spent millions of rands filling up the site in New England Road where people illegally dump all types of garbage. Currently, the department has 337 permanent staff on the council payroll.
Commenting on the municipality waste management plans going forward, Mr Cyril Naidoo, the Acting Manager said the department has employed additional staff so that, among other things, they will monitor the indiscriminate illegal dumping of waste. Naidoo also revealed that the plan is for illegal dumping sites to be converted into community vegetable gardens to feed families. The municipality has already set up seven such gardens in the following areas: Pelham, Grange, Prestbury, South Road, Sobantu, Eastwood and Hilton. Furthermore, the municipality has recently purchased eight brand new waste collecting trucks at a cost of R18 672 000 in total, a tractor costing R3 500 00, a TLB at R877 409 and three tipper trucks that carry 3 tons each at a cost of R2 875 019,50 each. In the past, the municipality had to hire the services of these pieces of equipment at a tune of R1 182 000 a month which amounted to R14 184 000 a year.
By LUVUYO THALA