Maverick Citizen


Battling a foul stench, residents clean up rubbish amid contractor’s dispute with City of Cape Town

Battling a foul stench, residents clean up rubbish amid contractor’s dispute with City of Cape Town
Volunteers in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, filled dozens of bags with rubbish that they say had not been collected for more than two months. (Photo: supplied)

Residents say the contractor stopped cleaning more than two months ago because of a dispute with the City. About 100 residents gathered at the weekend and split into smaller groups to clean up discarded waste.

Fed-up community members from W Section in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, have rolled up their sleeves to clean up uncollected rubbish strewn across their streets.

The group of about 100 residents gathered at the weekend and split into smaller groups to clean up discarded plastics, rotting food and even human waste.

The volunteers claim the contractor hired by the City of Cape Town stopped cleaning the streets more than two months ago because of a dispute with the City. Residents complain that the smell around their homes is unbearable and that the area is infested with flies.

Volunteers clear away rubbish that has been accumulating in their neighbourhood. (Photo: Sandiso Phaliso)

Anti-dirt donations

Before the clean-up project, residents went door-to-door collecting donations. They collected R400 and were able to buy 13 rolls of rubbish bags. Each volunteer brought their own gloves, spade, rake and wheelbarrows to carry the rubbish.

GroundUp saw volunteers clearing away rotten food, cardboard, electrical appliances, nappies, old car parts and stagnant water.

Community leader Sandile Nzwana said: “The City is not getting to the source of the problem, which is not employing people through its Expanded Public Works Programme. People from this community should look after cleaning services in this area because contractors care more about profits than the areas they serve.”

Educating about ‘an eyesore’

He said part of the aim of the clean-up was to educate other residents about illegal dumping and littering, and to promote recycling. “This place is an eyesore,” he said.

Volunteer Nonkosi Phanginxiwa told GroundUp: “We decided to clean because the City is failing us. For months, waste has not been collected. We have been complaining about the rubbish for too long and it seems the City only cares about us when it is election time.”

Phanginxiwa said the community had tried several times to alert the City about the piles of dirt around the area, but to no avail.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Racine Edwardes had promised to respond to questions sent last week, but had not done so by the time of publication. DM

First published by GroundUp.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • R S says:

    Where are the councillors in this mess? Surely they are paid to help resolve these issues between residents and the city?

  • frances hardie says:

    Extremely difficult to communicate with the city of Capetown council. Impossible to get through by phone, and repeated emails are ignored. Pull up your socks DA – you’re resting on your laurels!

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Come on City of Cape Town – what is your response?
    Which rate payers ( if any) are paying for the waste to be collected regularly?
    Don’t let the ANC or EFF use this as an example of poor DA Managment!

  • John Millar says:

    Come on DA – don’t let us down….

  • David Bristow says:

    The system of awarding contracts is fraught with hurdles, small start-up businesses favoured (which is noble) bit too often they are not properly equipped to undertake the work, or they hold the council to ransom. On the other hand, it’s about time communities discovered the costs of litter and garbage – it’s theirs, after all!

  • Deon Botha-Richards says:

    It’s about time communities took their own interests into their own hands. There’s only rubbish there because the community put it there. Whilst the municipality should provide a service nothing prevents the community from taking steps to keeping their environment clean and safe.

  • Frank Fox says:

    Well done to the community.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


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