Mayor is ‘hands-on’ at city clean up

2017-11-22 06:01
PHOTO: Makhosandile zuluActing city manager, Dr Ray Ngcobo (front) looks at a meter in an illegally built extension and a municipal worker inspects it.

PHOTO: Makhosandile zuluActing city manager, Dr Ray Ngcobo (front) looks at a meter in an illegally built extension and a municipal worker inspects it.

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ILLEGAL extensions to buildings in the CBD, illegal water and electricity connections, and the contravention of municipal and zoning by-laws were discovered on the Msunduzi Municipality’s clean-up drive last Friday, November 10.

Led by mayor Themba Njilo and acting city manager Dr Ray Ngcobo, the municipality staff, security and traffic officials went up Langalibalele (Longmarket) Street, into Timber before going into Church Street.

They went from table to table to check if the vendors are permitted to operate on these streets, to buildings with illegal extensions and electricity and water connections and to those conducting business in incorrect zones.

In a passage in Timber Street they discovered a structure had been built over a water meter where a salon operated. In another part of the same passage cables illegally connected to an electrical power supply were discovered.

Occupants and workers at illegally extended buildings, mostly in Timber Street, told the mayor and his team they were occupying these places as tenants, but they were told to remove their belongings because come Monday the demolition of these structures would get under way.

Items believed to be counterfeit were also taken from some street vendors.

Njilo at the launch of the initiative said the municipality would use the waste management hierarchy derived from goal one of the national waste management strategy, which ensures that minimal waste is disposed of by avoiding, reducing, recycling, treating and disposing of waste.

He said to keep the city clean includes improving the shift system for municipal workers to ensure they knock off at peak times and the city is kept clean at all times.

“We will also improve efficiency of staff members as well as the tools of the trade,” Njilo said.

Ngcobo said the municipality has received a number vehicles from the provincial government for city workers­.

Njilo said more bins have been placed on CBD streets and peace officers would be more visible to improve efficiency.

“A plan to deal with illegal dumping has been developed, and this includes working with stakeholders and communities, reporting perpetrators and educating the communities,” Njilo said.

He said the municipality is filling key vacant posts and a manager has been allocated to oversee the CBD full-time.

“More staff will be employed under the Purp [Pietermaritzburg Urban Renewal Plan] programme to be on the lookout for the upkeep of the city centre.

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The establishment of the EPWP [expanded public works programme] steering committee will ensure the implementation and constant monitoring of all waste management administration and that waste management operations run smoothly and simultaneously,” Njilo said.

He said refuse removal will be improved and sufficient trucks and drivers will be allocated with staff rotating all around the city at night and during the day.

Part of the clean-up will involve the temporary closure of the Imbali Taxi Rank for the cleaning of drainage systems, pesticide spraying and remarking of lanes on Pietermaritz Street where the rank is.

Uptown Ward 27 councillor Manqoba Ngubo said taxi leadership had been consulted on the closure of Pietermaritz Street from Retief to Boshoff streets.

He said some of the taxis from the Imbali rank would be temporarily based at Brookside.

“The continuous patrolling of taxi ranks will be conducted especially eSigodini where violence and criminal activities are rife,” the mayor said.

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