The Democratic Alliance in Buffalo City notes the civic action by residents of Gonubie, who have piled two weeks of uncollected refuse outside the doors of the municipal offices in the seaside suburb.
This is the culmination of months of unfulfilled promises on the part of the municipality, and, expresses the extreme disgust of all residents of Buffalo City at the filthy state of our metro.
It has been reported that the next step will be to dump refuse at City Hall, and while the DA cannot condone such behaviour, it is fully understandable.
According to sources within the municipality, only two garbage compactor vehicles, out of a fleet of 26 (including several new ones purchased less than two years ago) are currently operational.
The municipality’s solid waste department has allegedly been on strike since last week over the issuing of uniforms. Many of the landfill transfer sites in Buffalo City are no longer registered and the city’s continued usage thereof is illegal.
In the meantime, residents and businesses wishing to dump garden refuse are now being forced to utilise the Roundhill site, some 45 kilometres out of East London, or the privately owned Rieger’s site in Gonubie.
Part of the problem at the various transfer sites is a lack of management. These sites are treated as personal fiefdoms by the staff deployed there, who gouge those making use of them for extra money.
The lack of security means that the sites overflow, and illegal dumping occurs.
Few or no transfers are taking place, because the contractors employed to do so have allegedly not been paid.
In some locations (the Stoneydrift site, for example), squatters have taken up residence on the transfer site, making it even more difficult to manage and creating a further security risk.
The residents of Buffalo City, from Braelyn to Bonnie Doone and from Duncan Village to Dorchester Heights, are now taking matters into their own hands, because the ANC-led local government lacks the political will and institutional capacity to address the problems.
This puts the health and welfare of ALL residents of BCM at risk.
The DA has identified the cleanliness of the City as one of its key priorities for when it takes over government of the municipality.
Some of our specific action steps in this regard include:
- Implementing continuous, daily, street cleaning.
- Aggressively enforcing littering and anti-dumping by-laws, especially in high traffic/retail areas.
- Delivering refuse bags to all households on a monthly basis.
- Establishing weekly refuse collections (and twice weekly in high volume areas), that are regular and leave a clean environment behind. Rapidly rolling out wheelie bins and refuse compactors that are able to effectively collect these.
- Implementing proper landfill management, that includes ensuring sites are licenced, secured, managed, and rehabilitated.
- Undertaking an extensive city beautification programme that includes twice monthly grass cutting and regular bush clearing.
- Implementing a strong, punitive approach to illegal postering.
Under a DA led Municipality, we would champion outsourcing of household refuse collection to small business entrepreneurs to encourage the growth of the economy at a local level.
This would take the burden of broken down vehicles, staff strikes and lack of service delivery away from the Municipality which could then focus on the core issues of infrastructure maintenance and service delivery.
The DA will provide a clean, healthy environment to all the citizens of Buffalo City, because they deserve far better than what they currently get.
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