Huge piles of stinking rubbish line the streets of Khayelitsha’s TR Section. Residents say the city has not taken the rubbish away for three weeks and it has overflowed out of the shipping containers normally used to store it until dump trucks cart it away.Residents believe the city has not issued a new contract since the last contractor got fired three months ago, allegedly for underpaying their employees.
And while residents continue to pile their rubbish up on the street, many of them don’t even put it in black garbage bags because the contractor used to hand out new bags every week.
Poorer residents say they can’t afford to buy their own black bin bags.
And right next to the stinking mounds of rubbish are people trying to make a living running their fast food stall and braai stands.
In many places the rubbish, that includes the carcasses of animals killed by cars and disposable nappies, takes up the whole pavement, forcing people to walk in the street.
Resident Phindiwe Ndebe, a mother of two children, said the garbage attracted rats and disease and smelled terrible, especially when it was hot.
“We are going to get sick because of this rubbish,” she said.
City Manager for Area Cleaning, Claire McKinnon, said the lack of refuse collection was due to community leaders in TR Section refusing to allow the delivery of normal services to take place in the area, which has experienced ongoing service delivery protests for the last eight weeks.
She said the ward councillor Mphendulo Solizwe, together with the sub-council, had been trying to resolve the issue, without success.
However, she said last Wednesday the city did manage to remove some rubbish on Mew Way under police protection.
“This area is the centre point of widespread unrest in the Khayelitsha area currently which includes the stoning of service delivery vehicles, attacks on staff, burning of trucks, etc.” said McKinnon.
But residents committee chairperson Luvuyo Hebe denied that they were preventing the city from providing services, claiming the previous contractor had been fired and no new contractor had taken their place. — Nombulelo Damba, West Cape News