City a very sorry sight

2019-11-13 06:01
An unidentified homeless man who seems to survive on leftover food, spotted on Tuesday (12/11) eating out of the trash on the corner of Nelson Mandela Drive and East Burger in Bloemfontein’s central business district (CBD). Photo: Teboho Setena

An unidentified homeless man who seems to survive on leftover food, spotted on Tuesday (12/11) eating out of the trash on the corner of Nelson Mandela Drive and East Burger in Bloemfontein’s central business district (CBD). Photo: Teboho Setena

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The beleaguered Mangaung Metro Municipality blames staff shortages for a waste collection backlog that causes Bloem­fontein, City of Roses, to resemble a dumping site.

The situation has seen residents disposing of waste in every available space – at street corners, traffic lights and buildings – and even burning waste, ignoring the danger to environmental health.

The municipality’s apparent inability to collect waste in certain areas of Bloemfontein resurfaced early in October.

According to Jantjie Sebolao, EFF party leader in the Mangaung Metro, a dispute regarding overtime payment to workers in the waste management division is the root cause for the backlog.

It is understood that em­ployees have downed tools, demanding overtime payment.

The problem has worsened in recent weeks, with mountains of waste in black bags full of leftover food and other detritus everywhere.

The city council seems to be further hamstrung by insufficient fleet vehicles.

In May last year, Executive Mayor Olly Mlamleli unveiled a fleet aimed at improving service delivery, but the problem persists.

According to Qondile Khedama, Mangaung Metro spokesperson, the council has, on average, 25 trucks per day available for waste collection.

He says the council’s solid waste directorate has put in place extra resources regarding personnel and fleet to deal with the backlog.

The renewed plan came into operation on Thursday (07/11), following sharp criticism by political parties as service delivery deteriorates.

“As part of cost-containment measures, the city has contained overtime and as a result the waste collection schedule was affected. In terms of the law, a team in a truck can only collect from 800 households,” said Khedama.

Bloemfontein reportedly has approximately 525 000 residents.

According to Khedama, the present situation would require waste management to have 60 teams and trucks per day.

“To deal with the backlog and staff shortage, we have put ten trucks (instead of five) and teams together, drawn from different sub-divisions.”

Tjaart van der Walt, DA councillor in Mangaung, has strongly warned of the health risk residents face.

“The delay in waste removal creates a breeding and feeding ground for rodents and other pests,” said Van der Walt.

“We call on all communities – be that households, street groups, churches, businesses, schools and all civil society organisations – to collectively organise to manage waste in their immediate vicinity.

“Unless we do this, we will no longer live in a healthy environment.

“Non-removal of waste over 21 days is in direct contravention of the Constitution and the Waste Act: National Standards for Domestic Waste Collection.”

Van der Walt said the party’s Mangaung caucus was following a multi-faceted approach including legal action in an attempt to force the metro to provide acceptable services.

Van der Walt blames poor financial management by the Mangaung hierarchy.

“Despite the approval of the Financial Recovery Plan, giving clear guidelines to turn the Metro around, no progress is taking place.”

He further warned that uncollected waste could block the storm water drainage system.

“This will have dire consequences in the already poorly maintained water and sewerage infrastructure.”

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 

Matric Results are coming soon!

Notify me when results become available

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.