Waste management staff, fleet shortages

2016-02-24 06:00

AS the main municipal unit that looks after the cleanliness of the city of Pietermaritzburg, Msunduzi Municipality­’s waste management unit has a shortage of staff and garbage compactors.

The municipality targets approximately 84 600 households for domestic refuse collection once a week. The municipality’s recent community services business unit agenda­, which made its way to the Executive­ Committee (Exco), outlines that there is a shortage of senior­ drivers with Code 14 and professional­ driving permits (PrDP), and that there are 13 vacant driver posts within the unit due to death, disability and retirements. The report goes on to mention that several requests had been made to management and that the business unit has been allocated only four senior driver posts and three driver posts to be filled.

The municipality also services informal settlements and those that the municipality cannot reach, the co-ops have come in as the middleman to collect refuse.

In the report the municipality notes that the nine compactors will not meet the demand of the task. This has been worsened by the ageing state of the compactors due to extra hours.

The fleet setbacks in the waste department have strategically forced the municipality to outsource temporary staff who exchange responsibilities with permanent staff and acting driving staff who exchange responsibilities with permanent staff and acting drivers. The municipality also faces a steep backlog of waste containers due to the non-supply of these containers. This has forced hundreds of residents and municipal customers to share bins. Litter in the CBD has been attributed to the lack of these containers. Each new container costs more than R10 000.

However, the municipality applauds its ability to track, monitor and audit its records.

It notes that the challenges in human resources and equipment reduce its ability to attract additional revenue from clients.

The report goes on to state that the 29 night street sweepers are not being supervised as they don’t work the full eight-hour night shift.

At the time of going to print no response had been received from the Msunduzi Municipality.

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