Maggots in baby’s mouth as garbage piles up

2017-02-14 07:08
One of three rubbish dumping sites at Europe Informal Settlement in Nyanga. (Mandla Mnyakama, GroundUp)

One of three rubbish dumping sites at Europe Informal Settlement in Nyanga. (Mandla Mnyakama, GroundUp)

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Cape Town - Residents of the Europe informal settlement in Nyanga are living with growing mounds of uncollected rubbish, due to a dispute between the City of Cape Town and residents over the employment of contract communal cleaners, GroundUp reported.

“It is not just the stench which bothers us. Sometimes we find our children blowing up used condoms they picked up in the rubbish,” said Nonkululeko, 42, who had lived in the area since 1992.

Nobandla Mfunekiso, 70, asked that authorities set aside the dispute and help locals clear up the rubbish. She said that on Sunday, her 15-year-old grandson told her he found her one-year-old great-granddaughter eating maggots.

“He found my one-year-and-three-month-old great-granddaughter with a white maggot sticking out of her mouth. How many maggots had the child swallowed?”

Xanthea Limberg, the city’s mayoral committee member for informal settlements, said the city was aware of the matter and had referred it to Mayor Patricia de Lille’s office.

“Delivery of services was halted by residents who sought to influence the recruitment process for cleaning contracts in the area. The city has been clearing dumped material on an ad-hoc basis,” she said.

When GroundUp visited the area, it found gullies of waste water filled with faeces and rotting food. The rubbish had been piling up at three local dumping sites since the beginning of December.

Residents wanted to select new recruits at a community meeting and not use the city’s database, a process they said lacked transparency and favoured certain individuals.
 
Nomzamo Mavalantiya, 40, who sells braaied meat, said the flies and stench of the uncollected rubbish were affecting her business.

Database system

“We are against the usage of the municipal database. That sometimes results in certain people being hired repeatedly for the same job.”

She alleged that residents discovered that the previous ward councillor had hired 16 people who were not in the municipality’s system.

“The government should allow the process to be conducted at a community meeting with the involvement of all the areas’ residents, to convince us about transparency,” said Mzukisi Mbanga, 58.

Zibele Sithole, a community leader, demanded that current Ward 40 councillor, Bongani Ngcombolo, exclude himself from the employment process.
 
Ngcombolo said the database system was fair. He invited residents to watch the selection process, to prove there was no corruption involved.

“I beg them to trust it and, as their leader, I will do everything to support them all the way.”

He said the municipality investigated and found that the hiring of the 16 cleaners last year had involved some corruption.

Limberg said De Lille had declined the suggestion to deviate from the city’s random selection process. She said they would discuss the matter with residents.

Read more on:    cape town  |  health

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