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City residents threatening not to pay for refuse services

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This threat comes after dirt bags have not been collected for three weeks.

Pictures: Supplied

RESIDENTS of Ward 24, including Rhodesdene, Lindene, Carters Glen and Hadison Park, are threatening not to pay for refuse services after their dirt bags were not collected for three weeks.

Residents affected include those living in Bulawayo Street, Rhodes Avenue, Zambezi Street, Anthony Street and parts of Lindene.

Last week, staff members of Sol Plaatje Municipality’s refuse section refused to collect the bags following a dispute regarding the payment of overtime.

However, following a meeting with the Acting MM and management on Thursday last week, the workers agreed to return to work immediately and the municipality assured residents, many of whom had accumulated a heap of bags, that refuse collection would continue as normal.

Steyn pointed out, however, that this had not been the case in all the streets in her ward. “This is now the third week that refuse has not been collected in some streets. What makes it worse is that I contacted the municipality to confirm that refuse would be collected and each time, this was confirmed.

“This weekend I asked three times before I sent out a message to residents that their refuse would be collected. It appears that refuse is collected in certain streets but in other streets, like Rhodes Avenue, it is not collected. As a result this street has become a health hazard, especially now with Covid-19.”

She added that residents were also threatening to load the bags and dump them in front of the municipality’s offices.

“As the ward councillor, I am the one taking the punch as I keep promising residents that it will be collected. 

I believe that it is time for the municipality to rotate the days on which refuse is collected as Mondays always seem to be a problem. Residents pay for their services and if these cannot be delivered, the director responsible should issue a communication explaining the situation and reason for the non-delivery of services. This needs to be sorted out as it is no longer acceptable.”

Municipal spokesperson, Thoko Riet, said areas like Areas like El Toro Park, Hillcrest, Hadison Park, Carters Glen and surroundings were collected, adding that, in fact, most areas were.

“Our refuse department was on strike but alternative arrangements were made with the workers from the Expanded Public Works Programme, which collected refuse from most parts of the suburbs.

“It is possible that they collected in some areas but refuse was not put outside by the residents. Some areas might also have been missed as they were using only one truck, which broke down after servicing the Eltoro Park area on its way to Greenpoint.

“The truck was taken to the workshops and was ready the next morning to continue servicing other areas. We regret the inconvenience.”

Riet added that refuse collection was back to normal.

“If there is still piles of refuse that have not been collected in that area or any other areas, we will gladly assist and send one of our trucks to pick up the refuse at the identified place.”