City of Cape Town under fire by ANC over waste management backlog

A pile of dirt clogging a street in Hout Bay area

A pile of dirt clogging a street in Hout Bay area

Published Aug 18, 2023


[This story has been updated with City of Cape Town’s response]

Cape Town - The ANC Johnson Mayeki branch from Hangberg, Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay and Lerotholi Business Chambers from Langa are calling for the City’s urban waste management department to fulfil its constitutional duties and remove their refuse.

Community leaders say they have grown impatient with the City not finding a company to take responsibility for refuse removal, refuse dumps, solid waste disposal and cleansing.

The ANC’s Johnson Mayeki deputy branch chairperson, Roscoe Jacobs, said the City had failed to effectively and timeously remove garbage from the informal areas of Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu since the end of its financial year.

Jacobs said the reason behind the failure in Hout Bay was that the cleaning project was no longer running.

“ANC branch secretary, comrade Amanda Thethi, has engaged with our DA ward councillor, Rob Quintas, who promised that refuse would be removed in two days, but this has not happened.

“This is a massive threat and violation of our right to life and dignity as the dogs and horses live in better conditions than the poor and working class of Hout Bay.

“We demand immediate removal of refuse and sweeping of streets on a weekly basis. We further demand our councillor Rob Quintas facilitate a meeting with the Department of Solid Waste.

“We as the ANC Johnson Mayeki branch and the community ask the City to find a more inclusive waste management plan for our informal settlements,” said the branch in a statement.

A representative of Lerotholi Business Chambers, Thulani Fesi, said they have requested additional bins at Lerothile Avenue in Langa for over four years.

On June 6, the City replied to three requests made by Fesi, logging three tickets, namely street bins request: 9115139613, skip cleaning: 9115139689, and adequate street lights: 9115139772. However, nothing had been done thus far.

“The issue is that it is a main business zone and hub with socio-economic opportunities for Langa.

“It’s the first street used for tourism, which in turn is the gateway to exploring and experiencing Langa and the first impression given is the state of litter and dirt along the avenue.”

City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said residents are assured that the City’s Urban Waste Management Directorate is making every effort to address the refuse collection delays that are currently being experienced in affected informal settlements across Cape Town, including Imizamo Yethu.

“City teams are extending their internal resources to also service the areas normally done by contractors. In addition, teams are still in the process of clearing the backlog resulting from the recent taxi strike’s impact on City services.”

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Cape Argus