Fed-up Pietermaritzburg man decides to fix local township’s streets

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Thato Ntseare fixing one of the potholes in Imbali.
Thato Ntseare fixing one of the potholes in Imbali.

Tired of seeing dirty streets in his area, a man from Imbali Unit 13-Phase 1 has taken it upon himself to clean the streets and fix potholes in his area.

Thato Ntseare (36), who is unemployed, wakes up everyday as people head to work, prepares himself, takes up his tools and goes out to clean the streets without being paid a cent.

He told Weekend Witness that his love for cleanliness and his desire to see the area in a good condition is what motivated him to start cleaning the streets.

“I work Monday to Friday like everyone who has a proper job. I work throughout the day depending on the amount of work that needs to be done on that specific road.

“The only time I am not working is when I have scored myself a piecemeal job somewhere else, then I take a day off to go and do that job that will pay me because at the end of the day we all need money,” he said.

READ | Msunduzi: home of filth and stink

Ntseare uses his mother’s tools to help the community. He said being unemployed and sitting at home doing nothing everyday also pushed him to pick up this job.

“I realised that sitting at home and doing nothing when the streets are dirty is not going to help. I need to take a stand and show people that we can keep our area clean. Since I started doing this it has helped me a lot because it has kept me busy and stopped me from waking up everyday and sitting on the streets or in the shops.

“Though this is not easy, I intend to continue doing it with the hope that someone will recognise it and decide to assist me. I do not even have proper working tools, I take those that are available at home.

“Sometimes my mother complains about her tools but lets me use them anyway because she understands the love I have for cleanliness.”

“Others go as far as telling me that there is something wrong with me because there is no normal person who can just wake up and clean the streets.”
Imbali resident Thato Ntseare

While Ntseare enjoys what he does, he said sometimes there are people who mock him, but others compliment him for doing a good job for the community.

“Some will just stop and ask me why am I doing this because it is the municipality’s job?

“Others go as far as telling me that there is something wrong with me because there is no normal person who can just wake up and clean the streets.

“I just say ‘It’s fine’ and continue with my work. I have told myself that I will not be discouraged by what people are saying because I know why I started this. If we are going to wait for the municipality that means that we are going to wait forever, living in filthy places. My wish is not only to clean this area, but to go out into other areas as well.”

ALSO READ | KZN taxi owners demand action on potholes

Ntseare said his dream is to have a cleaning company one day and employ young people in the area.

This week The Witness wrote that, fed up with waiting for the City’s intervention, four women from Imbali BB took it upon themselves to fix potholes on local streets and to clean the blocked drains in their township.

Sindi Luthuli, Ntombi Nkabini, Ntokozo Madlala and Gugu Kunene are paying for the crushed stones, sand and cement from their own pockets.

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