Taxis, hawk­ers, hi­jacked build­ings blamed for filth

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ANNA COX

TAXI ranks, hawk­ers, busi­nesses and hi­jacked build­ings are to blame for the filth in the City of Joburg.

So says the city’s mem­ber of the may­oral com­mit­tee re­spon­si­ble for the en­vi­ron­ment and in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices, An­thony Still, fol­low­ing a re­port in The Star last week that irate res­i­dents were claim­ing that the city’s streets were not cleaned for sev­eral days.

“There was no ser­vice on Christ­mas Day, but oth­er­wise the area has been ser­viced,” Still said.

The in­ner city was ser­viced much more fre­quently than the sub­urbs, with three shifts a day. Skips were emp­tied up to twice a day, con­crete bins were emp­tied up to four times a day, and streets were swept and rub­bish was bagged on a con­tin­u­ous ba­sis, he added.

“It is true that some­times rub­bish is swept into piles for me­chan­i­cal clear­ance. Pik­itup needs to en­hance its me­chan­i­cal fleet for this pur­pose. This is usu­ally where rub­bish con­tains a lot of hu­man fae­ces and is dif­fi­cult to bag,” he said.

Ad­di­tional staff were em­ployed to re­place some of those on leave, he said. There were prob­lem ar­eas around the city, he ad­mit­ted. Th­ese in­cluded taxi ranks, and some busi­ness own­ers were not com­pli­ant.

“Many of the busi­ness own­ers or op­er­a­tors such as restau­rants, shop­keep­ers and hawk­ers are guilty of this. Some of the branded fran­chisees too are guilty. I will not name them as yet as I want to ap­proach them first. They do not com­ply with the re­quire­ment of bag­ging and bin­ning their refuse,” Still said.

They did this in order to avoid pay­ing Pik­itup for the daily or mul­ti­ple col­lec­tions per week that were nec­es­sary.

Bad and hi­jacked build­ings were an­other prob­lem, said Still.

“Th­ese present a se­ri­ous chal­lenge to Pik­itup as very of­ten the plumb­ing in th­ese build­ings does not work. This means that oc­cu­pants throw their hu­man waste out onto the street, and there is sel­dom any com­pli­ance in terms of bin­ning refuse from the build­ing.”

The city mayor, said Still, had ex­pressed his de­ter­mi­na­tion to tackle the is­sue of bad build­ings but, in the mean­time, Pik­itup would be look­ing at ap­point­ing mi­cro-con­tracts to clean the precincts of th­ese build­ings on an on­go­ing ba­sis. “This, of course, will come at a cost – a cost caused by the break­down of law and order,” he said.

Yeoville res­i­dent Gabrielle Ozyn­ski said the sub­urb was “look­ing like a bomb hit it”. “Who­ever those tem­po­rary work­ers are, they are not hav­ing any im­pact – who knows why?

“Pik­itup is an ab­so­lute pa­thetic sham­bles – a refuse com­pany that can­not even or­gan­ise for refuse col­lec­tion for just a few weeks. They also never ac­knowl­edge tweets,” said Ozyn­ski.

Res­i­dent John Wilkin­son said Pik­itup seemed not to have worked last Mon­day and Tues­day.

“They only com­menced the Malvern clean-up on Wed­nes­day. Coun­cil­lor Still has un­der­taken to in­ves­ti­gate when he re­turns from leave. The “ac­quir­ing” of the ex­tra 1 000-odd bod­ies for the in­nercity fes­tive sea­son clean-up was a PR ex­er­cise,” he said.

Busi­nesses aren’t bag­ging and bin­ning refuse

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