Home News Residents warned…city could soon get dirtier

Residents warned…city could soon get dirtier

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“We need solutions that will keep Kimberley clean throughout the year, not just from July to November.”

Picture: Danie van der Lith

RESIDENTS have been warned that the dirty city of Kimberley is likely to get even dirtier, following fears that Sol Plaatje Municipality’s funding for cleaning services is set to dry up within the next five months, if not sooner.

DA city councillor Elize Nieman said in a statement yesterday that this would affect the regular cleaning of illegal dump sites in 14 wards that are regularly polluted with nappies, needles, animal waste and more.

“It will compromise hygiene and further aggravate the breeding of rats, presenting a serious health risk to the people of Kimberley and beyond.”

Nieman pointed out that the Ritchie area, which also falls under the jurisdiction of Sol Plaatje, was already suffering.

“Refuse is only collected every two weeks and must then be brought 40 kilometres to the Kimberley dump site, as the licence for the Ritchie dump has expired.”

Nieman added that the reason for the funding shortage was due to the high costs being paid by Sol Plaatje for the rental of a combination of 16 tipper trucks and four front-end loaders.

“This contributes significantly to the Community Department’s monthly expenditure of R1.3 million, out of its annual budget allocation of over R6 million,” she explained.

“The municipality now wants to embark on a huge awareness campaign to curb illegal dumping. The problem with this, however, is that the municipality does not have the capacity to police illegal dumping, nor does it have a municipal court to address by-law contraventions.”

The DA has proposed instead that serviced sites be allocated for dumping, to better control the problem and also to ensure rubbish removal at decreased costs.

“We need solutions that will keep Kimberley clean throughout the year, not just from July to November.”

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie explained that the budget funding being referred to by Nieman was specific to a budget utilised for the cleaning of illegal dumping/littering and was not the total cleansing budget.

“Within the waste section, vehicles/equipment are hired for the cleaning of illegal dumps (which falls under the Cleansing Section), the EPWP mayoral project and for the operations at the Kimberley landfill site. The hiring is dependent on monthly needs and requirements.”

He confirmed that the allocated budget for the 2018/19 financial year was R6 million.

“Vehicles/equipment are hired from a contracted service provider, which is managed by the Fleet Management Section, due to the lack of own capacity within the Cleansing Section.”

This section currently has only two front-end loaders and four tipper trucks.

“In order to clean illegal dumping spots within residential areas, it is necessary to hire vehicles/equipment as Sol Plaatje Municipality does not have sufficient capacity. For the month of July, four front-end loaders and 12 tipper trucks will be hired at a cost of R996 858.”

The cost of hiring for June last year was R325 288.

Matsie pointed out that illegal dumping is an ongoing problem within all wards.

“The cleaning programme for this month is wards 1 to 12 (excluding ward 8) as well as 16, 30 and 32. This, however, does not include the entire ward but areas and streets that have been identified as priority. A monthly programme will be compiled to include all wards and this will transpire over several months.”

He added further that an investigation was conducted by the Fleet Management Section, which looked at the viability of rental versus procurement.

“Although procurement of own vehicles is ideal, the recommendation, as presented to the Utility Committee was that a combined approach be followed, namely rental (due to high demand and requirements) and that vehicles/equipment be procured over several financial years as per the available budget. The available budget for procurement of vehicles for 2018/19 is R4 million.”

Regarding the statement that the licence for the landfill site at Ritchie had expired, Matsie pointed out that the town had never had an approved landfill site, thus it was incorrect to say that the licence for the site had expired.

“The establishment of a licensed landfill site at Ritchie is not cost effective and to establish a small site will cost between R10 to 15 million. The construction of a transfer station is to be investigated and has been included in the Integrated Development Plan.

“Ritchie currently receives a bi-weekly residential refuse collection service which is regarded as a basic service. All refuse collected is transported to Kimberley for disposal at the landfill site. However, a weekly refuse collection service has been planned for implementation in this financial year.

“The type and amount of waste received from Ritchie/Modderrivier can easily be accommodated at the Kimberley landfill site as there is sufficient air space.”