Shack dwellers protest for City of Cape Town to clean filthy streets

They also want the City to use labour from their area

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Shack dwellers in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein blocked parts of Takudi and Skwatsha streets on Wednesday, demanding the City of Cape Town hire cleaners. They say rubbish has been piling up around the informal settlement since 31 January. Photos: Vincent Lali

Heaps of rubbish were set alight and used to block parts of Takudi and Skwatsha streets in Kraaifontein, Cape Town on Wednesday. Shack dwellers are demanding that the City provides their neighbourhood with refuse collection services.

Community leader Sibusiso Gibson said that the City’s contract with the previous refuse collectors ended in December. He said the contract was then extended until the end of January but no new contractor has been appointed.

There are, according to a resident we spoke to, a few thousand shacks in this neighbourhood.

Last week, the residents met the cleaning company, City representative Christie Filander, and Ward Councillor Siviwe Nodliwa at the Wallacedene Community Hall because refuse was piling up in the area.

Gibson said it was agreed during the meeting that new cleaners would start work on Monday. When no contracts were signed by Tuesday, they returned to the sub-council office but no one agreed to discuss the matter with them, he said.

Another resident, Thembelani Mzola, said the shack dwellers in the area have always struggled to get the City to clean and remove rubbish. He said residents are tired of uncollected bags of rubbish piling up around the informal settlement which are attracting flies and rodents.

“We want the City to hire residents who will start to work tomorrow,” he said. He called for the City to be transparent about how it hires new rubbish collectors.

There appears to be a dispute between the residents and the City about who should be employed to do the cleaning. The residents want local people hired, but details remain unclear.

On Thursday morning, residents confirmed that their refuse had not been collected since 31 January.

The City is yet to respond to questions sent by GroundUp on Wednesday afternoon. The article will be updated with the City’s response once it has been received.

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TOPICS:  Sanitation

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