Durban – A former senior manager of the Durban Solid Waste (DSW) unit has been singled out for blame for the poor levels of cleanliness in the city.
EThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, who described the former official as the “boss” in the unit said the official had not done the work that was required leading to the city being filthy.
“The reason why the city is so clean now is because (previously) we had a boss there, a boss who was not collecting refuse but we kept him. We have been paying him a high salary but he was not performing. We are happy he is not there anymore, he took an early pension,” said Kaunda.
He did not mention the official by name, but due to him stating that the person had taken an “early pension”, indications are that he was referring to the former head of DSW Raymond Rampersad who took early retirement last year.
A few months before he retired, Rampersad and other officials in the supply chain unit were summoned by the executive committee to explain the problems with regard to keeping the city clean.
Rampersad has previously told “The Mercury” that there were several challenges affecting the unit’s work including the increasing number of informal settlements, the lack of equipment to do the work and the lack of personnel.
Kaunda warned the 25 000 strong city employees to shape up or face the axe.
“Those employees who do not want to work should start cleaning out their offices, we are not going to allow them to waste the taxpayers’ money. Taxpayers are paying a lot in this city. They must get value for money.”
Approached for comment on Sunday regarding Kaunda’s remarks Rampersad said he would not take the blame for the challenges.
“Go have a look at their overtime bill, go travel to informal areas bordering formal areas. Go and visit Springfield, have look at the area next to the dump site. uMlazi township is being serviced by 8 municipal vehicles and 4 hired vehicles at huge cost to the ratepayer. DSW is losing formal commercial customers every day because of unsatisfactory service, the private waste companies are providing a much more responsive service,” he said.