City boots refuse removal contractor

| Barbara Maregele
Residents of Khayelitsha Site B, Wilson Meleni, Babalwa Ndesana, Nothembeko Mapasa and Julia Jarha, remove the last bits of rubbish after the City’s waste management team cleared the containers. Photo by Barbara Maregele.

The removal of waste at informal settlements across Cape Town will soon be conducted by new contractors.

This follows the City of Cape Town’s decision not to renew their contract with Tedcore, the waste management company contracted by the City to service informal settlements city-wide since 2009.

Since the termination of the contract at the end of April, the City’s waste removal truck has in the interim been deployed to the different areas.

While the City did not confirm the reasons for their decision, the undertaking follows the social audit done in Khayelitsha by the Social Justice Coalition in October last year which highlighted serious problems with the performance of the refuse contractors.

The City’s Mayco member for Utility Services, Ernest Sonnenberg, said they were in the period between the conclusion of their contract with Tedcore and the employment of new contractors. “The new contract was awarded in accordance with the tender specifications. The new contractor has been given an opportunity to purchase their vehicles,” he said.

Sonnenberg said the refuse storage areas would still be cleaned at least twice a week as previously required.

Tedcore’s Western Cape general manager, Rudie Barnard said it was not yet clear why their contract had not been renewed.

“We had a three-year contract with the City which started in 2009 and after it expired, they extended it on a month to month basis. Last month, we were notified of our unsuccessful bid, but we still haven’t been told why we were unsuccessful,” he said.

Barnard said the company first started working at informal settlements around the City in 1997.

“We provided the services twice a week and in certain areas where there are no containers, dirt was removed three times a week. We had a lot of challenges along the way, so we have no idea what the new contractor’s plans will be.

When GroundUp visited Site B in Khayelitsha yesterday afternoon, all of the green shipping containers placed along the road to store plastic dirt bags used by the community, were empty. Resident, Babalwa Ndesana, said she welcomed the City decision as many people were unhappy with the previous contractor’s services.

“Since the (City’s) green waste truck has been here, the dirt was collected regularly. Before, the containers would stand full for weeks. There is nowhere for children to play here in Site B, so they play around this dirt and get sick. Weekends were our biggest problems because the containers would be overflowing. This weekend the new truck came to clean so we didn’t have a problem,” she said.

Ndesana said her only concern was that the new contractors would not continue the standard of services given by the City’s current waste management teams.

The Social Justice Coalition’s Dustin Kramer said the introduction of a new contractor did not guarantee the improvement of services.

“The main problem with having private contractors is that the City has still doesn’t have a way to them. Failure to collect refuse has so many consequences for the people living in informal settlements. There are so many health risks as well as environmental concerns,” he said.

TOPICS:  Government Sanitation Society

Next:  Myths about the election

Previous:  Angy Peter trial: Police head says “stupid mistakes” made

© 2016 GroundUp. Creative Commons License
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.