‘Fence filthy plot’

2017-04-25 06:01
The garbage on the Prasa site next to Maitland train station in Ferndale Drive.

The garbage on the Prasa site next to Maitland train station in Ferndale Drive.

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The old Prasa building next to the train station in Maitland is a sight, with piles of garbage and a foul smell.

It is reported that some locals use the building in Ferndale Drive as a dumping site and it is now filled with dirt, including cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and metal pieces. Taxi drivers, vendors and illegal occupants in the area are blamed for throwing rubbish in the building.

Frustrated residents say the place has been like that for a long time. It is only cleaned if they complain to officials and then neglected for months again, they say.

They allege that officials of Prasa, which owns the building, make empty promises whenever the state-owned company is approached about the matter.

Resident Helen Major says: “It is disgusting and it has been like that for a long time. It is people at the ranks and the walkers that throw stuff there and it is embarrassing to live in a community like this, especially when you bring visitors home.”

Gerhad van Rensberg, manager of the Maitland City Improvement District, confirms the untidiness at the building and the numerous attempts by officials to keep the place clean, but says the building is private property and his organisation is not dealing with it. He says the community is to be blamed as they don’t stop littering at the site.

“The building has been cleaned and cleaned but the community probably won’t stop throwing stuff there.”

Councillor Hellen Jacobs says the illegal occupants are the problem and that the issue of dirt on the Prasa land opposite Maitland station has been coming on for a long time.

She says at a meeting between stakeholders in February Prasa agreed to clean the area, “which they did but [it did] not stay clean as people started dumping again”.

She says Prasa officials promised to look into fencing the area off.

Jacobs also explains that the City of Cape Town would help by putting more rubbish bins out and help with cleanups when asked.

Morries Wagner, acting site manager of Prasa, says they are aware of the problems at their Ferndale Drive site and are busy looking into it. He says fencing the area will take a long time because there are standard government procedures that have to be followed. He says Prasa is trying to keep the site clean but members of the public are making it difficult as they keep on littering in the area. He could not give a time frame for when the fencing is expected to start.

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