How Knysna municipality tackles the issue of litter and vagrants
Tony Lyons-Lewis, Knysna: I refer to Jean Allan’s letter regarding litter and illegal squatters and the ineffectual response from our municipal manager.
While I accept that people need to be urged not to litter, education at school level may help get the message across.
The municipality still has a responsibility to provide a cleaning service, which should include the removal of the dumped trolleys along the brick pathway at the top of the lagoon.
Last Saturday, during our parkrun event, I counted seven in various stages of disrepair, dumped in the reed beds. We have a number of visitors at the event every week – what sort of impression does this leave?
Maybe levy a fine against the supermarkets – that might encourage them to ensure they are not removed from their parking lots.
Regarding the squatters under the carriages at the solid waste depot, law enforcement needs to step up and take responsibility for the removal of the vagrants.
Our rates have escalated astronomically, yet service in some areas is sadly lacking. Mr Chetty, when last was litter cleared along the lower reaches of Wilson Street? Somebody emptied a recycle bag in the bushes to make a bed, more than a year ago. The mess is still there. I have phoned to report this, to no avail.
I am part of the neighbourhood watch and, during my night patrol, see how many street lights are out, also for ages. One on the south corner of George Rex Drive and Wilson has been out for over a year, too.
Where are our increased rates being spent, please tell me? Knysna municipality responds: We thank Mr Lyons-Lewis for his interest shown in our town.
Law enforcement teams collect the shop trolleys, which are then taken to our to storage facility where they are kept. The relevant supermarket then pays a fee to have these released.
The matter of vagrants is a socioeconomic challenge not limited to Knysna. Within our limited resources we try to deal with this issue; our law enforcement teams do daily patrols and remove the vagrants you refer to.
In addition, the Knysna Basin Project recently performed a cleanup along the verges of lower Wilson Street. A contractor has further been appointed by the Knysna municipality to focus on refuse and litter. This contractor commenced on Wednesday 1 November in Ward 9.
Knysna municipality’s environmental and solid waste department runs various educational programmes in schools. Examples include waste education in Greater Knysna schools as part of the Arbor Week awareness in September. In October, the municipality further provided a cleanup campaign with the Sedgefield and surrounding area’s schools. We are further involved in a “bio brick” campaign in collaboration with BioWise.