Durban - Mayor Zandile Gumede has decried the state of eThekwini Municipality, saying more effort needs to go into cleaning up even the outskirts of the city.
She told an executive committee council meeting on Monday that she had noticed that in some areas tree stumps uprooted during the October storms were still lying around.
The city’s priority had been to focus on cleaning up the city centre, but cleaning outlying areas was equally important and should be pursued with the same vigour.
Grass-cutting and refuse removal in outlying townships like Phoenix and even rural areas needed to also to be a priority, Gumede said.
“The stumps of trees are all over. No one is prepared to take them. We do have teams but our city is not coming clean,” she said.
Gumede said cleaning up the city had to be prioritised. She reminded Exco members that this was part of her election manifesto before ascending to office last year.
Gumede said she felt that some employees were not pulling their weight which was why the problem of uncleanliness continued. “We cannot have Christmas in a filthy place like this. I cannot wait any longer. People are working but not to a degree they should be working at,” she said.
She has tasked officials within her office to look into the matter, saying the supervision of staff tasked with cleaning duties needed to be scrutinised.
She commended city manager Sipho Nzuza for championing campaigns to clean the city centre. “I know you are supposed to be dealing more with technical issues but when I drive around the city I can see the difference that you and your team have made,” Gumede said.
Meanwhile, Gumede is expected to turn on the city’s Christmas lights next Tuesday afternoon.
The ceremony will also mark the launch of the city’s new history, heritage and cultural route.
The tourism route starts at the Durban International Convention Centre, which was built on a site where a prison once stood.
It will also include other significant sites such as KwaMuhle Museum, Gugu Dlamini Park, The Workshop, the Post Office and the City Hall. There will also be a street carnival during the launch.
Phillip Sithole, acting deputy city manager for economic development, said the city was negotiating with two television stations on the possibility of broadcasting the activities live.