News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Sunday September 15th 2019

‘This garbage must go’

Du Noon residents Nolitha Cwayi, Oldein Jila and Ronell Paulo say the container full of squatter camp garbage must go. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN

They’ve tried to set it alight, attempted to push it into the street, and begged the city to remove it, but Du Noon residents can’t get away from the stench of an overflowing container full of garbage.The shipping container that acts as a huge garbage bin for Du Noon’s Siyahlala informal settlement has been placed on a street corner in front of neighbouring RDP houses, and the RDP residents are sick of dealing with the stench of the garbage.

A city contractor is supposed to empty the container once a week but residents say they often miss a week.

And in the summer heat, the garbage stink wafts through the neighbourhood.

Residents living close to the smelly container say they tried “countless” times to get the city to move it but have never had any joy.

Thus they have tried to take matters into their own hands by dousing it in petrol and setting it alight. But the container is made of steel and wouldn’t burn.

They’ve also tried to push it into the street to force the city to remove it, but it proved to heavy for the residents.

Resident Nolitha Cwayi, 41, was one of eight women complaining about the stinking container this weekend.

The women said it blocked their view of the street, it stank, and thieves hid behind it and attacked people going to work.

“We attempted to set it alight but it wouldn’t burn. We doused petrol on it,” said Cwayi, who is a mother of four young children.

She said she had “countless times” complained to the the City’s northern District Blaauwberg region but her concerns were not addressed.

“We even took pictures of garbage overflowing outside the container and we showed them to the city. They didn’t do anything about it.”

Oldein Jila, 36, said the container was “disgusting” and was making her children sick.

“My children have running stomachs. When we dish food the flies are all over it,” said Jila.

Cwayi said when temperatures soared to 38 degrees last week, the stench from the garbage was unbearable.

“Drunk people pee on and around the container. It stinks a lot. When the temperature is high we get hot stinky air. It’s always smelling bad,” said Cwayi.

Ronell Paulo, 28, said apart from the foul stench and flies, the container was also a haven for rats that invaded people’s houses at night.

She also said the container took a lot of space on the pavement and children were forced to play around it.

“Our children play around the garbage. It’s not healthy at all,” Paulo said.

Cwayi said it made her angry to think that its was not even their household garbage stored in the container, yet they had to suffer its effects.”

City’s waste removal contractor Industaff Solutions confirmed having received complaints from the residents.

The company’s area manager Andile Mbeshu said when they got the cleaning contract the container was already in place, he would not have a problem it were moved.

Blaauwberg Sub Council chair Heather Brenner said the problem was that there was no land to move the container onto.

However, she said it was not only squatter camp garbage causing the problem, the container also stored garbage from backyarders living behind the RDP houses.

But she said the city was “interested in resolving the problem”. — Peter Luhanga, West Cape News.

Tags: blaauwberg, Du Noon

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