Oh rubbish, says everyone… …and the garbage just keeps heaping up
Heaps of rubbish now clogging drainage pipes is a health concern at the area in Nekkies known as Sanlam Mall on the outskirts of Knysna, where a stalemate seems to have been reached between shop owners at the centre and the municipality.
Three months ago, Nekkies Sports Bar manager Francois Jansen complained that “nonexistent refuse collection services” resulted in an unsightly and potentially unhealthy situation at the centre. He said the municipality hired a contractor who usually cleaned the area once a week, but that this person was dismissed.
Following the complaints, the municipality installed wheelie bins in the vicinity, conducted a cleanup and stated that shop owners have been informed that they are responsible for cleaning the area.
‘They only empty the skip’
“I am yet to receive any communication in this regard from the municipality,” Jansen told KPH last week. “I phone the municipality every week to come clean this place. They only come empty the skip, and just leave the rest of the rubbish to rot here.”
Jansen said the Sanlam Mall parking area also serves as an informal taxi rank, and many of the customers are also responsible for the litter.
“How can shop owners take full responsibility? It’s not all our rubbish. We need a long-term solution.”
He added that the dustbins installed by the municipality have since been stolen, and the poles left behind were used to make a fire during recent protests on the N2.
Responding to queries, the municipality reiterated that the lease agreement between it and the Masakhane Business Corporation states that the property owners are responsible for cleaning the area.
“A cleanup campaign and blitz in partnership with Garden Route DM: municipal health section was commenced in September 2018. Casual workers were appointed in October to clean the Sanlam area especially around the high-mast light, where the biggest problem occurs.
“The solid waste department is currently cleaning for two days a week around that specific hotspot,” stated the municipality, adding, “An educational campaign was done using social media and pamphlets with information of contact numbers to report illegal dumping and or littering.”
The municipality agreed that a huge contributor towards the litter is the informal taxi rank as well as the crowds gathering over weekends, but did not state what would be done to alleviate the situation.
“Bins can be replaced, however, the shop owners should also take responsibility and not only leave everything to the municipality.
Two bulk bins (770l) were provided to shop owners,” it concluded.
What a mess... Nekkies Sports Bar manager Francois Jansen at the heaps of garbage that remains uncollected at the area known as Sanlam Mall.