HAVING used all means at my disposal as the ward councillor in Ward 31, to no avail, it is now with a sense of desperation that I turn to the media, in the hope that this will galvanise or embarrass service providers into urgent action.
The ward is filthy, and rats and flies are the new plagues hitting Missionvale, Bethelsdorp Road, Windvogel and Bacon Street, Hillside. One can imagine the potential illnesses which are breeding in such areas.
Illegal dumping is increasing by the day, as when refuse bags are provided – and that is not a given – the filled bags are not regularly collected.
When bags are not provided, domestic waste is spread across the ward. I have forwarded all complaints from residents to the call centre and to the Gail Road depot, and have written to the director of public health and to the official responsible for the area. Areas not receiving refuse bags are Seedat’s Houses, Seedat’s Ground, Whitting’s Ground, Boesak Ground, Miller’s Ground, David’s Ground, Aloes Valley, Witteklip Kerk Street, Mackay’s Ground and Greenfields, Balfour Heights.
Sanitation remains a major issue for the residents of Missionvale, who are forced to use the bucket system, which violates their right to dignity, a clean and safe environment, and health. The unbelievable stench of the uncollected waste, of course, adds to the suffering of the community and the risks to their health.
I hold the municipality accountable for this shameful state of affairs – a municipality which puts showy, non-profit-making soccer events before the desperate needs of suffering members of the community. It plays fast and loose with the budget which is merely on paper, with little follow-through and delivery.
I demand that the needs of the people be put first.
DA councillor Penny Naidoo, Ward 31, Nelson Mandela Municipality