City’s refuse woes worsen

2019-02-27 06:01
PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaRubbish that has been piling up on Prince Alfred Street since last week.

PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaRubbish that has been piling up on Prince Alfred Street since last week.

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RESIDENTS have been forced to either take their own refuse to the dump or stand by in the hopes of a speedy resolution to the Msunduzi Waste Management worker strike which has seen refuse not be collected since last week as workers demand better pay.

Workers burned tyres and blocked the entrance to where they are based at the municipality earlier this week as they demanded more competitive salaries.

Residents say that, since the strike began last Wednesday, they have had to deal with the presence of maggots infesting their refuse as well as an influx of stray dogs and rats who tear into refuse bags in the search for food from the waste that has been lying inside or outside their yards.

Community members in Imbali are furious about the situation, speaking out about the lack of resolution.

Nobuhle Ndlovu from Imbali Unit J said they do not care about what is happening between the municipality and its employees; they just want their rubbish to be collected.

“Since last week Friday the rubbish is still waiting to be collected outside our gates. No one told us that the rubbish is not going to be collected so it is just waiting there. The dumping site is very far from us; they cannot expect us to go and dump the rubbish by ourselves.

“We pay rates, we do not deserve this. The municipality must come up with a plan because the rubbish is piling up now,” she said.

Dolly Mazibuko from Imbali Unit 3 said: “Our streets are smelling now because of this rubbish. When you go to town it is so filthy and smelly. The municipality needs to take action before this situation gets out of hand.

“I was forced to take the rubbish to the dumping site myself because I could not stand seeing it lying in front of my gate anymore,” she said.

Even the street vendors selling food in the CBD have started to complain that business is slow because people do not want to buy food because of the smell and sight of all the refuse.

Snethemba Gebashe said: “The place is smelling because of all the rubbish that was not collected. I can’t eat while I am looking at that rubbish, especially if it is hot because the smell becomes unbearable. It is very tough.”

Msunduzi Municipality told Echo’s sister paper The Witness that the rubbish was to be collected on Monday but that never happened.

Municipal spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo said the municipality has hired temporary workers to collect the rubbish but as of yesterday (Wednesday) the rubbish was still pilling up.

The Echo’s attempts to make contact with Ngcobo, via e-mail and telephone, on Tuesday and Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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