Filthy northern areas ‘embarrassing’

“WE are losing the battle against the filth. It is out of control. The plastic bags everywhere look like Namaqualand’s daisies.”

Kathy Rensburg, who has been residing in the Bethelsdorp village since 1978 is up in arms about the state of the environment in the northern suburbs.

“It is truly embarrassing to live here. The open area opposite our cemetery is filled with rubbish and this is where all the buses and cars with funeral goers stop. It is a disgrace and totally undignified for our people to be buried among the rubbish.”

Rensburg, who is a retired librarian of 29 years, has arranged many clean-up campaigns by herself, in which she gathered the children in the community to help clean up.

“I have to take my hat off to ward councillor, Trevor Louw, who had always supported every clean up endeavour and has always been willing to donate black bags and arrange for a truck to pick up the collected garbage.

“Other senior citizens and I also regularly go around the Bethelsdorp area with shovels and rakes to keep the area clean. But despite all of these efforts, we are losing the battle. The situation is now out of control,” Rensburg said.

She added that her daughter’s wedding is coming up in February and she is dreading the wedding guests from other parts of the country having to see how dirty the area is.

Berenice Baartman, also a Bethelsdorp resident, agrees that the area is an embarassment. “I had visitors here during the festive season. One young lady who was here for the first time asked if this is really the PE her parents had told her about. She could not believe that it’s the same place because it’s so dirty.” In April last year the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality implemented a weekly refuse collection in all wards in the metro. Before, refuse used to be collected every fortnight in the northern suburbs, but this was changed when the former Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan took office. “The fact that the rubbish gets collected every week has made no difference, because it’s still rubbish and building rubble from two years ago that is lying around. “I can see the municipality is trying, but more needs to be done. I would like the mayor to come on a tour and see for himself what our areas look like. Mr Trollip must see how we have to live in shame. Maybe then it will become a priority,” Rensburg said. She suggested that to alleviate the situation, a rubbish tip needs to be built; and a hotline to report perpetrators be put in place. “These contractors and such who come here to dump their rubbish, should be fined on the spot. They keep doing it because they are getting away with it.”
  • At the time of going to print, Mayoral Spokesperson Sibongile Dimbaza said he was still waiting for feedback from the Waste Management department regarding this issue.
Check next week’s edition of the PE Express for an update of the story and full comment from the metro.

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