Council’s clean-up crisis

2012-10-15 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality seems to be losing the battle to clean up the city.

Proof of this is the rubbish-strewn Otto’s Bluff Road, which remains worse than ever, despite complaints since December, say residents.

James Arnot has been complaining on behalf of Claridge residents since December, saying “nothing has been done at all — the rubbish is worse than ever and covering half the road at one point”.

Arnot said the result was that the waterways and drains have gotten clogged up.

He added that only once there was an attempt to remove some of the rubbish that was encroaching into the middle of the road.

This was pushed to the side and only a few bags of rubbish were removed, but garbage continues to encroach onto the road surface.

“Then someone tried to burn the rubbish at this point, but was unsuccessful.

“The burning of rubbish in public areas is illegal and causes toxic carcinogenic fumes,” Arnot said.

He said11 months after he first complained in December 2011, the whole area for hundreds of metres has got steadily worse.

“The drains and water courses remain absolutely blocked with rubbish. It really is a catastrophe.”

Resident Kathy Milford said the pile of rubbish had become so high and wide, that the outward bound lane was almost blocked.

“Two cars travelling in opposite directions can no longer pass, one car must pull over,” she said.

She said on Thursday morning she tried six different municipal phone numbers with no success. When she did get through to two of the numbers, she was told to try others.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said the issue of filth as a result of illegal dumping throughout the city, was a major concern.

“This is not just an Otto’s Bluff matter. Now that we have normalised the collection of waste, we are working on coming up with a plan to deal with the illegal dumping.

“And part of that plan will have to address a community awareness and involvement campaign in promoting clean and healthy living environments.

“Part of that plan is to budget for skips to be placed at strategic areas, and be regularly emptied by ourselves,” he said.

It is not only Otto’s Bluff Road that has blocked storm water drains; last week’s thunderstorms and heavy rains left several roads in the city flooded because of blocked drainage.

Zuma said: “It is a very misleading assumption to say that the [recent] storm revealed poor maintenance of storm water drains.

“It is not in every case of heavy rains that you experience flooding of the streets, it is in cases of storms.

“The capacity of the storm drainage network can cope with what it was designed for … However, it is important to keep our storm water drains free of filth, as too much of it contributes to blockages.”

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