Taxis, hawkers, hijacked buildings blamed for filth
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