Patchy cleanup of strike rubbish annoys ratepayers


Despite the end to the violent and expensive three-week Samwu strike last week Friday, some residents still face mounds of foul smelling garbage on their street corners and pavements.
Southernwood and Cambridge are still plagued by the infamous black plastic bag piles as well as swathes of litter scattered across the streets.
In contrast, Beacon Bay, Nahoon and Stirling appear to have had all their trash removed and are looked relatively neat and normal.
Last week the Daily Dispatch reported that Buffalo City Metro had cut a deal with Samwu and other unions and would be restoring all services to full operation.
There was a promise from the metro that all staff would endeavour to work overtime to clean residential and industrial areas throughout the city.
BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said on Wednesday that the cleanup was under way, but there were a lot of backlogs.
He said that street sweeping of the CBD had been on the go since Friday and refuse was being collected on Saturday and Sunday in Gonubie, Beacon Bay, Winterstrand, Southernwood, Duncan Village, Scenery Park, Dorchester Heights, Abbotsford, Braelyn, Arcadia, North End, Gulu, Berea, Vincent and Chiselhurst by both BCM employees and private contractors.
He said the overtime budget would increase with collection happening on the weekend to clear the rubbish throughout the city.
Ngwenya said a shortage of staff and insufficient plant and equipment to clear illegal dumping sites in areas like Duncan Village and public open spaces were the main challenges, but BCM anticipated a return to normality in the next two weeks.
“All regions are currently operating as per the refuse collection schedule and residents can put their rubbish out on the days they usually would. We are anticipating the backlog to be completed by December 22.”
Buffalo City Ratepayers Forum chair Christo Theart was dissatisfied with the patchy cleanup. He said: “It is in the National Waste Collection Act that waste must be collected once a week. We as ratepayers pay for this service and we expect this service.
“If there is a strike it is not our problem and the municipality should have made arrangements to have the city's waste collected despite the strike.”
BCM city council was locked in a closed meeting in the city hall on Wednesday night discussing the strike and its enormous price tag. During the open sitting the DA was told to table its motion at the closed sitting...

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