THREE trucks to service the CITY

2020-02-26 06:01
PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaSome of the broken trucks that the municipality is allegedly failing to fix.

PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaSome of the broken trucks that the municipality is allegedly failing to fix.

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THREE trucks are all the Msunduzi Municipality currently has to collect refuse for the entire City.

When Echo visited the depot on Thursday, there were 12 trucks parked off which are not in use — some are in need of repairs and others have expired licence discs, all this while Pietermariztburg residents continue to face the challenge of their refuse not being collected on time and sometimes not being collected at all.

This has contributed to the issue of illegal dumping.

Other community members have went as far as dumping the rubbish outside the municipal dump site on New England Road.

Some of the broken and unlicenced trucks parked at the depot still contained refuse as they had broken down while en-route to collect garbage.

This is according to reliable sources that are known to Echo.

The stench from these trucks was unbearable.

One of the employees at the depot, who did not want to be named in fear of victimisation, said they have been urging the municipality to repair the broken trucks and renew license discs but to no avail.

“Management told us that the municipality does not have money to fix trucks or renew licence discs. Some of the trucks discs expired in 2018 and others in June 2019 and have been parked here since.”

The employee told Echo that the municipality has spoken to staff about hiring trucks instead of renewing the licences.

“They [municipality] tell us that they will hire other trucks to come and assist us with the workload,” he said.

The employees agreed among themselves that they will not utilise trucks that are not roadworthy and that have expired license discs.

“We report for work everyday and do nothing because we have no trucks. Only trucks that are still in operation go out and collect rubbish, but it’s not enough to service the municipal area. The municipality needs to fix these trucks so we can get back to work.

“We empathise with the community but unfortunately there is nothing that we can do.We can not risk our lives by using trucks that are not in a good condition. We also live in the same communities that are experiencing this problem.

We are also the victims of this but there is nothing we can do if the municipality is not doing something about the situation,” he said.

The employees said one of the main reasons why they contacted Echo is because they are “tired of being blamed by the community for failing to do their job”, when it is not their fault.

“Community members perceive us as bad people who are lazy and we don’t want to work but it is not our fault,” said another employee.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said there were a number of challenges with the licensing of trucks but the matter is currently being attended to.

“The municipality is currently operating with three trucks. We have broken trucks but they are currently at the workshop being attended to. The municipality has sent trucks for repairs and we are looking at procuring more resources,” she said.

When Echo enquired about the trucks parked at the depot, that are broken and have expired licence discs, Mafumbatha said: “Budget has been set aside to fix the broken trucks and to do licensing.”

She denied that the municipality does not have the money to renew licensing discs. She also denied that employees are not working and said they [employees] are being deployed to do other duties.

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