Litter shows no pride

2015-05-27 08:22
Litter thrown out of vehicles lines the sides of Sweetwaters Road from top to bottom.

Litter thrown out of vehicles lines the sides of Sweetwaters Road from top to bottom. (Ian Carbutt)

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IF you want cleaner streets and a litter-free Pietermaritzburg, then it is up to you to make it happen.

City councillors say the municipality is playing its part; however, residents “who have lost their values and pride” are at fault for littering the streets.

Ward 27 (CBD) councillor Judith Lawrence said the people of Pietermaritzburg need to start taking pride and stop blaming the municipality for allowing the city to drown in litter.

“Litter and dirty streets are a huge problem, and it comes down to residents not respecting their city. It is not the municipality dumping its dirt on the roads,” she said.

Lawrence said bins are provided in her ward. However, “more rubbish is outside the bin than inside”.

Ward 26 (Prestbury and Blackridge) councillor Glenn McArthur commended the municipality on its improvement in ensuring the streets of Pietermaritzburg are clean. “Litter is a huge problem. In my ward, the roads leading to and from Sweetwaters and Mayors Walk are always littered. We are lucky that there are a few residents and business owners who adopt areas; however, there are some people who just don’t have pride,” said McArthur.

He said parents should teach their children not to throw rubbish out of car windows and should rather keep a plastic bag in the car. The city has by-laws regarding littering and dumping, but they are not effectively enforced, said McArthur.

“Traffic officers should walk the streets and fine people for littering. Enforcing the by-laws and prosecuting people for dumping and littering is a way of educating them. The municipality should see that there is a lot of revenue to be made from this,” he said.

Ward 30 (Raisethorpe) councillor Jaiheen Singh said one of the dirtiest streets in his ward is Vanker Road, where litter has blocked the manholes.

“I have reported these problems almost a month ago and nothing has been done. People are dumping their filth and when the rains come, the manholes are blocked with dirt,” he said.

Singh added that shops in the Raisethorpe CBD are forced to leave their rubbish at the roadside pick-up points since the municipality cannot provide skips.

“Litter is not a major problem in my ward, except in the Raisethorpe CBD and now Vanker Road. It is difficult to control littering, but the onus is upon the residents to ensure they place their rubbish in bins,” he said.

Taxi associations have played their bit by enforcing a no eating or drinking rule in all taxis. Regional taxi council chairperson Bheki Sokhela said: “We have instilled a policy where no one is allowed to eat or drink in the taxi.

“This allows no rubbish to be accumulated in the taxi or thrown out of the window. During our Manco meetings we always discuss this with the taxi associations, and it is passed forward to taxi owners and drivers.”

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the municipality will respond to questions from The Witness today

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