Mangaung Metro ba

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

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

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The beleaguered Mangaung Metro Municipality blames staff shortages to waste collection backlogs that saw Bloemfontein – City of Roses resemble dumping site. The waste collection problem saw residents dispose waste at every available space – street corners, traffic lights and buildings – even burning waste -ignoring the danger of environmental health.

The municipality’s problem to collect waste mainly in areas of Bloemfontein resurfaced early in October. In a slap in the face to millions of residents and business alike, have to deal with piles of stinking rubbish on their doorsteps.

According to Jantjie Sebolao, EFF party leader in the Mangaung Metro, overtime payment to workers in the waste management division is the root cause that led to resurface of waste collection backlogs. It is understood that employees downed tools demanding overtime payment. The problem worsened in recent weeks with mountains of waste, above knees in black bags full of leftover food and other detritus everywhere.

The city council inability to collect waste is further hamstrung by insufficient fleet and this is notable with tons of waste lying around. The problem continues despite last year in May Executive Mayor Olly Mlamleli unveiled a fleet aimed at improving service delivery.

According to Qondile Khedama, Mangaung Metro spokesperson, presently the council has to its disposal 25 trucks on average per day for waste collection. He said the council’s Solid Waste directorate has put place in extra resources in personnel and fleet to deal with refuse collection backlog due to staff shortages. Renewed plan came into operation last Thursday (7/11) following sharp criticism by political parties as service delivery deteriorates.

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

Tjaart van der Walt, DA councillor in Mangaung, strongly warned health risk residents face due to waste collection by the cash-strapped Mangaung Metro. “The delay in waste removal creates a breeding and feeding ground for rodents and other pests. We call on all communities, be that households, street groups, churches, businesses, schools and all civil society organisations to collectively organize 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,” said Van der Walt.

He said the party’s Mangaung caucus was following a multi-faceted approach inclusive legal action to try force the Metro to provide acceptable services to voters.

Van der Walt has blames poor financial management by Mangaung hierarchy. “Despite the approval of the Financial Recovery Plan, giving clear guidelines to turn the Metro around, no progress is taking place,” said Van der Walt.

He further warned that uncollected waste will block the storm water drain system. “This will have dire consequences in the already poorly maintained water and sewerage infrastructure.”

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