Residents of an informal settlement in Philippi are angry that a container provided by the City of Cape Town for the approximately 500 families to throw their garbage in is kept locked.As a result the rubbish from the Ezimbacweni settlement at the corner of Bristol and Sikhwenene streets is piling up next to the container because there is nowhere else for the residents to put it.
Residents for a while there was an open skip, which used by filled in two days, but then a month ago it was replaced by a shipping container – which has never been opened.
Numerous attempts by the residents to try to acquire the key from the city contractor have failed.
Resident Winky Lethe, 35, whose house is situated right next to the container, said she is very angry about the continued dumping of garbage – including dead animals – near her home.
She said her six-month-old child has been in hospital three times already and she blames the unhygienic environment on her doorstep.
“People, especially children, get very sick here because of the dumpsite. What makes things worse is that the container where we are supposed to dump rubbish is always locked.
“We know the guy who keeps the key but he refuses to open up because he claims once he opens people would start throwing unborn babies inside.”
Another resident Nonkuleko Ntukwana, 39, said the area is “smelly and dirty” because garbage just lies around on the street.
Ntukwana said the smell from the rotting garbage blows into her house which is “always buzzing with flies”.
However, city manager responsible for cleaning in the area, Claire Mckinnon, said the city was aware of the locked container.
“It is meant to be locked. The containers are kept locked to stop animals getting into them and also for safety reasons so that no mischief can happen inside the container,” said Mckinnon in a statement.
She said the containers act as a storage place for the contractor to put the garbage bags collected every week from the dwellings in the area.
She said every resident had refuse collected from their door once a week and were given free black plastic bin bags to put their rubbish in. – Sandiso Phaliso, West Cape News