Residents fed up with filth

2014-06-02 00:00

Priority No. 1, A clean city, Mr Mayor!

Msunduzi is about to start a new financial year and Mayor Chris Ndlela said their New Year resolution was to provide effective and efficient service where the customer was king.

He pointed to the billing challenges that were going to be sorted out. We want to tell him that cleaning the city should be priority number one.

We know that the Msunduzi Municipality’s cleaning staff were on a go-slow over the past week, but the problem is that the city was never clean in the first place.

Perhaps, a resolution that the city can collectively make — both municipal staff and citizens — is to collectively clean up our entire capital city and maintain that cleanliness.

Let’s put our thinking caps on, suggestions will be welcome.

As its contribution, Witness Warriors will be reviewing clean-up initiatives, bright ideas from our readers as well as speaking to the municipality about plans up its sleeve.

Reader Rosemary Wright reminds us of our current sorry state of affairs and sets the ball rolling, “I write this letter somewhat jaded and disillusioned with certain aspects of life in Maritzburg. I have been living in the city for nearly 18 years, and in that time have seen the CBD and its close surrounds become messier and filthier. Is this what proudly South African means?

“I live near Russell High School, and of late the area has become a haven for prostitutes. Behind Russell High, in Boom Street, is an empty plot of land with a wall facing the street, and there are no fences or other walls securing the property. So what goes on behind that wall, goes unseen to those passing by on the street, but if you go behind the wall, you can see up into the corridors of Russell High.

“So what do those young impressionable school girls see down on to that little plot of land, from those corridors? Prostitutes ply their business in broad daylight on occasion, on that plot of land, and at night, they come out in their numbers, screeching at the cars that drive by, which in turn hoot, shout back and many do stop for their ‘pick up’.

“There are several pieces of large cardboard [beds] and the area around it [the bedroom] is scattered with condoms and toilet paper. Maybe the Department of Education considers this free sex education? Whatever light one looks at it in, it is absolutely disgusting.

“When I first moved into the area, young boys played soccer on that plot of land, and it was a pleasure to have open windows in the afternoons and listen to their happy laughter. No self-respecting parent would let their child near that property now and how sad is that? Numerous complaints to the powers that be yield little results. Do they drive around with rose-tinted glasses, and when their day is over go home to their leafy suburbs?

“Apparently that plot of land belongs to the Department of Education, so if that is true, then ultimately is it not their responsibility to look after that land? How about partitioning it off and making it into garden — a good project for the school girls?

“It is easy to crow about events like the Dusi Canoe Marathon, the Comrades, the mountain biking events that Cascades hosts, Art in the Park, the Royal Show, etc, but how can one have pride in a city that is in a messy, if not filthy, state with bags of litter and rubbish fluttering about.

“Just go to the bus stop opposite the McDonalds takeaway centre and see how dirty and littered it is, most of the time. What a lovely welcome for visitors, when they arrive in the ‘City of Choice’.”



Mohamed Moosa has been complaining for months about a group of stallholders near his business who daily dump their rubbish outside his shop.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said that businesses had been advised about the proper storage of waste, and that there is a once weekly refuse removal service on a Friday in this section of the city.

Mafumbatha added that due to the problem of businesses, both formal and informal, leaving this refuse out daily, the waste management unit responded by removing the refuse every night.

This pick-up clearly did not happen over the past week because of the go-slow and, despite the rubbish not being picked up, the culprits that Moosa complained about continued dumping their dirt in front of his shop.

The city spokesperson said that environmental health and other municipal units will be co-ordinating a blitz in the area.

They will be inspecting formal businesses, especially in terms of waste storage on the premises pending removal.

She said that if businesses required a more frequent removal service, they will be billed accordingly.

“In addition complaints and the public can assist by pointing out the culprits, in order for the municipality to take further action. These would include serving compliance notices and summons,” Mafumbatha added.

Forest dumping

Last week we wrote about illegal dumping in the forests in the Otto’s Bluff area.

Jacob Kotze, general manager for NCT, wrote in to say he would like to correct the information supplied by the municipal spokesperson.

“NCT does not own the municipal plantation, but has an agreement with the municipality to manage the commercial forestry operation,” he wrote.

This is all the more reason for the municipality to double up its efforts to curb illegal dumping in the forests.

Glued posters

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have still not scrubbed off their glued down posters in the Mayor’s Walk area.

We asked the municipality what action it was going to take but did not receive a response by the time of going to press

Residents fed up with the filth

High-profile events are all very well, but the city just gets messier and more depressing

witness warriors


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