The taxi driver who swaps a steering wheel for a shovel

2017-04-19 07:58
 Taxi driver Yamkela Ncume cleans up his Dunoon street. (Peter Luhanga, GroundUp)

Taxi driver Yamkela Ncume cleans up his Dunoon street. (Peter Luhanga, GroundUp)

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Cape Town - A part-time taxi driver has taken it upon himself to clean a filthy kasi street with vigour and pride.

GroundUp reports that Yamkela Ncume couldn’t stand the accumulating filth and stagnant grey water in Dunoon’s Gousbloom Street, so he started cleaning it himself.

Armed with a rake and a shovel, and sometimes using his bare hands, he removes all domestic refuse and filth from the street.

Residents along the street praise Ncume for his selflessness.

When GroundUp visited the area on April 10, Ncume was cleaning the stinking rubbish.

“I love my community and I want to keep our street and environment clean.

"Refuse accumulates very quickly here because of overcrowding, and we have young children constantly playing in the street. If we wait for authorities to come clean for us, kids will pick up germs,” he said.


Nokuphuwa Pitane, 35, praised Ncume for his selfless service.

“He is doing the right thing. Many young people of his age are on drugs but he is not. He cares about our hygiene. My only wish is for him to get a permanent job,” said Pitane, who is the mother of two young children.

She said Ncume cleaned the street once a week, but refuse piled up again quickly because of overcrowding.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Hayley van der Woude said the city’s resources for cleaning were stretched. Commercial areas and main thoroughfares were prioritised.

She applauded Ncume’s initiative and said everyone was responsible for keeping their areas clean.

“The city provides a highly reliable refuse collection service, as well as 25 drop-off sites where residents can dispose of up to three 1.5 ton bakkie loads of waste per day for free. Residents are encouraged to report illegal dumping to the City on 0860 103 089,” she said.

— WestCape News for GroundUp

Read more on:    cape town  |  service delivery  |  good news

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