According to the City, rapid urbanisation is making it difficult to provide services to backyard dwellers. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Dirty laundry: clothes are washed incessantly to rid them of smoke smells.

Flies everywhere. Dust that settles on everything. The pervasive smell of fire smoke that permeates skin, hair and clothing. These are the first things you experience as you stand surrounded by makeshift structures that represent home to thousands of backyarders across the Western Cape.
According to the City, rapid urbanisation is making it difficult to provide services to backyard dwellers. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives Dirty laundry: clothes are washed incessantly to rid them of smoke smells. Flies everywhere. Dust that settles on everything. The pervasive smell of fire smoke that permeates skin, hair and clothing. These are the first things you experience as you stand surrounded by makeshift structures that represent home to thousands of backyarders across the Western Cape.

City of Cape Town struggling to provide for backyarders due to dense urbanisation

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Feb 11, 2020

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Cape Town - According to the City, rapid urbanisation is making it difficult to provide services to backyard dwellers.

It also said it was unable to deliver services to some areas effectively as they were too densely populated.

According to the City’s third generation waste plan, “there are still challenges experienced with the provision of waste collection services to informal and backyard dwellers”.

Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi said: “Some backyards are too densely populated for the City to gain access.

“If backyarders do not allow the City access, or refuse to move temporarily for the City to be able to install services, there is an impasse.

“Some backyarders cannot be reached as a result of dwellers living under power lines or in flood plains.

“Sometimes the City services are refused by backyarders or the community due to political agendas or community leadership agendas.”

The report also states there are other challenges such as limited landfill space and increased illegal dumping. Illegal dumping has resulted in the strengthening of the by-law and penalties.

“For the past five years, the annual tariff increase was at an average of 5.5%. However, the sustainability of waste minimisation initiatives are at risk as the cost of collection of recyclables is high and waste tariffs would need to increase to allow for increased recovery,” the report continued.

Commenting on the contents of the report, mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said: “Municipalities are required to include their integrated waste management plans in their integrated development plans (IDPs), as required by the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (Act 59 of 2008).

“The document gives an assessment of waste management in the City, identifies challenges and proposes strategies to ensure waste is managed effectively and in line with the applicable IDP, in conjunction with other City departments where appropriate.”

Gatvol Capetonian leader Fadiel Adams said: “We don’t want them to deliver services to us, we want them to give us the land.

“We understand they have a challenge getting to these people but it’s because the City has been half asleep.

“We have had numerous meetings with the Human Rights Commission and the MEC for Human Settlements, but no one is listening to us.

“We will be taking this further, even if we have to cripple this province’s economy.”

The group protested last year against a lack of housing opportunities for coloured people, the perpetuation of apartheid-style spatial planning, a total lack of housing opportunities close to work and the never-ending waiting list for housing, among other things.

@MarvinCharles17

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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