A month’s worth of garbage piles up on Dunoon streets

City waste removal contract ended on 30 June, with no waste collected since

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Street vendor Emihle Phoswa, who braais pork chops and chicken wings for customers from a braai stand outside her home, said the waste pile up near her trading spot was unbearable, and causing her to lose business. Photo: Peter Luhanga

  • Mounds of garbage have been piling up on the streets of a Dunoon informal settlement since the last service provider’s contract expired.

  • Residents are deeply concerned about risk to health, an increasing rat population, and threats to children who play on the rubbish heaps.

  • South African National Civic Organisation branch chair says the new contractor is not allowed to clean in the area unless local workers are employed.

Heaps of uncollected garbage are spilling over onto the narrow roads of Doornbach informal settlement in Dunoon, with the waste not having been collected since 30 June when the previous refuse collection contractors contract expired.

It is not clear whether a new contractor has been appointed by the City of Cape Town, but South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) Dunoon branch chair Elliot Nkohla said a new contractor had started removing waste. He said SANCO stopped the contractor, demanding employees be verified as local residents registered on the Blaauwberg subcouncil’s unemployed database.

“They are not going to work until we get the list (of the City contractor’s employees) to verify that they are Dunoon residents,” said Nkohla.

Dunoon ward councillor Messie Makuwa said “the community” was still negotiating with the new contractor over how many people from Dunoon they employed to collect refuse.

Mayco member for Urban Waste Management, Grant Twigg, said the City was “currently engaging on various mechanisms to improve service delivery in informal settlements for the better of communities”.

Twigg said: “Although notices were issued to contractors to terminate their contracts by 30 June 2023, the cleaning of the area was still done until then. Should residents have experienced refuse collection delays prior to 30 June 2023, they are encouraged to please inform the City if this is still happening.”

GroundUp saw refuse strewn along Dunoon’s main thoroughfare, Potsdam Road, and children playing amidst, and on, piles of rubbish.

Community leader Phindile Mazula, who has lived in Doornbach for 25 years, said household waste was last collected at the end of June, with no refuse removal in the area since then.

Mazula said residents were dumping items such as nappies, food waste, beer bottles, and faeces, with children often sifting through the mounds of waste in search of toys or anything they could play with.

“It is unhygienic. It is affecting our health. The food waste is rotting. Children here do not have a place to play, it is easy for them to contract diseases,” said Mazula.

TOPICS:  Waste management

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