Rubbish collection to resume

2009-11-26 00:00

REFUSE collection is set to resume today after large parts of the city remained unserviced for the past two weeks.

Refuse removal started slowing down from November 11 when the Msunduzi Municipality stopped overtime in its waste management division due to the exhaustion of overtime funds.

This resulted in massive backlogs, and irate ratepayers contacted The Witness in droves to complain about the lack of service.

Jay Singh, who runs a business in the CBD, said she had tried communicating with the municipality, but no one was able to tell her what was going on.

“We pay for our service and we expect it. If you don’t pay for lights they cut them off immediately. This is unacceptable,” she said.

Smangele Sibiya, who lives in Bisley, said she is at her wits end because neighbourhood dogs are going around tearing up the rubbish bags that have been lying on the pavement for the past two weeks.

“I’m just frustrated. I don’t know what’s going on,” she said.

Waste collectors who spoke to The Witness on condition of anonymity said they downed tools because the municipality has refused to pay them for the overtime they have worked.

However, after meeting municipal manager Rob Haswell yesterday, they were assured that they will be reimbursed for those hours and agreed to go back to work, they told The Witness.

During a full council sitting held at the city hall yesterday afternoon, Democratic Alliance councillor Bill Lambert said councillors are being inundated with phone calls from angry residents demanding to know why their rubbish has not been collected.

Haswell responded by saying they have attended to the problem of non-collection, and refuse removal will resume as normal from today.

In a recent meeting of the executive committee, deputy municipal manager Zwe Hulane said plans are under way to recruit 40 refuse collectors.

“[This will] address the chronic shortage of staff within the waste management division, which results in excessive overtime claims,” said Hulane.

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