Battling the city’s

2017-09-13 06:01

PLEASE may I comment on this occasion on a facet of my ongoing seemingly solo battle against the tide of litter in the “City of Filth”.

By way of context, I spend time (more than I should have to) picking up litter, whether I’m on the bike or on foot - my preferred modes of transport. Some of this material, such as cans and plastic bottles, go to recycling.

I undertake this ongoing task because I’m one of the apparently few city residents who feel civic pride in my city and consequently endeavour to make a difference, albeit a modest one, and the municipality, the job of which it is to keep the city clean, simply doesn’t much of the time.

The weekend of September 2 and September 3, was marked, inter alia, by the World Para­cycling Championships in Alexandra Park.

My wife, daughter and I, plus dog, decided to stroll down from Bisley, along Alexandra Road, through the park and up College Road (the race route).

As per usual, I took several plastic packets, anticipating some litter, but not much as the city was, after all, hosting an international sporting event, with visitors from around the globe.

The city would be spick and span, right, especially on the route ...

Wrong - the closer we got to Alexandra Park, the litter accumulated, especially in the
vicinity of a certain high school in lower Alexandra Road that I cycle past daily.

However, the weirdest part was that in the vicinity of Harry Gwala Stadium we passed a man reclining in a deck chair watching the cycling.

He obviously noticed me up to my usual practice of reducing the volume of litter.

My wife reported to me later that this individual inquired of her, obviously out of earshot of myself, whether there “was something wrong with me”.

I was truly amazed.

She explained to him that this was standard procedure where I was concerned.

His response was that picking up the litter is the municipality’s job. Exactly, I know.

However, I also know that if there wasn’t “something wrong with me”, the environs of my home and workplace would be awash with trash, and I simply don’t wish to live like that.

What an indictment when a resident of Pietermaritzburg, the “City of Choice”, can suggest that evidence of civic pride is indicative of mental illness.

PS: I was also somewhat amazed when, upon entering Park Drive, we came across a huge accumulation of garden refuse in the vicinity of the Taylor Rockery. I couldn’t believe it. This was 100 metres from the start-finish area. I noticed this and was embarrassed.

You can be sure that the visitors would also have noticed it.


MARK COGHLAN

Bisley

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