Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has promised that poorer areas will be as clean as the city centre once she has whipped city officials into shape.
In an interview De Lille slammed the city and some officials for failure to monitor refuse collection and to keep poor areas clean, saying more developed areas like the city centre were being prioritised.
She said companies contracted by the city to clean some communities were not being monitored well enough by city officials and the efficiency of cleaning services and refuse collection in some reas was dropping drastically.
She said Cape Town received accolades for being a clean city, but this was not reflected in certain communities like Nyanga and Athlone.
“Part of the city’s policy is to get services from SMMEs where we go for smaller contractors. But the quality of the service… is dropping because there’s no monitoring from the city’s side. So we’re going to beef up monitoring in the areas so we get the same kind of cleanliness as in the city centre,” said De Lille.
Areas of concern included Nyanga, Gugulethu, Athlone, Manenberg, Bonteheuwel and Sir Lowry’s Pass Village where there were protests last week.
“It’s also the areas where there are a number of people in backyards. We can’t give one household one wheelie bin. This will be a budgetary issue because we will have to buy more wheelie bins. We will now be employing extra people,” said De Lille.
She said in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village she would encourage the community to help the city monitor the contractor.
Gavin Silber of the Social Justice Coalition agreed that monitoring contractors had been an issue in informal settlements. Last year the Social Justice Coalition and Ndifuna Ukwazi complained and called for service delivery agreements between the city and the contractors to be released so they could be held accountable.
“Refuse collection in informal settlements is all outsourced and private whereas in the city it isn’t.”
He said in the Taiwan informal settlement, for example, residents were being offered refuse removal bags once a week, but some residents hadn’t received anything in six months though they were being forced to pay for these bags.
“Refuse collection is far below par and it’s all linked to sanitation.
ANC chief whip Xolani Sotashe said: “The City of Cape Town is only looking after affluent areas. The poor areas are in limbo. It is so filthy here I wonder how some people can live like this.” - Cape Times