City buried in waste

Tons of uncollected waste, which includes recyclable material that informal traders have disposed of, heap up along the streets of the Bloemfontein. The Mangaung Metro Municipality’s collection problem continues unabated. Photo: Teboho Setena
Tons of uncollected waste, which includes recyclable material that informal traders have disposed of, heap up along the streets of the Bloemfontein. The Mangaung Metro Municipality’s collection problem continues unabated. Photo: Teboho Setena

Service delivery in waste collection seems to have grinded to a halt in the Mangaung Metro Municipality.

Tons of uncollected waste piled up along the streets of Bloemfontein over two weeks while residents sought explanation for the non-collection by the embattled municipality.

The Mangaung Metro’s refuse collection problem has resulted in a backlog, starting mid-June.

David Masoeu, DA Mangaung caucus chairperson, said calls to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to intervene in the municipality’s poor service delivery was futile, as no action had been taken.

“The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa guarantees the residents of a municipality the right to live in a safe environment, and this right cannot be violated by a municipality that is uncaring for its residents,” he said.

“The DA is displeased with the disregard, neglect and failure by the Human Rights Commission to investigate this dangerous situation that still prevails in Mangaung.”

It has emerged that waste collection by the municipality relates to its failure to pay contracted service providers, as well as a fuel shortage.

“Once again the metro has failed to pay the majority of the contracted service providers, leaving residents frustrated, as they constantly have to beg and plead to unreachable municipal officials to attend to the problems,” says Rossouw Botes, DA Mangaung councillor.

“The department of Solid Waste and Fleet Management, which is responsible for refuse collection and the logistics of the municipal fleet, has been hampered by diesel shortages, thus no department has vehicles to respond to burst pipes, clear blocked drains or fill potholes.”

According to Botes, the problems hampering Mangaung to deliver basic services were addressed on 1 December, when the parliamentary oversight committee (POC) visited the municipality.

“It raised the concern that the metro is failing its residents by not maintaining or delivering basic services. This week the problems have been compounded. It is for these reasons that the DA has requested the oversight committee for a forensic investigation,” said Botes.

  • Efforts to get comment from the metro regarding the compounded problems of basic service delivery were unsuccessful.
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