Mayor asks residents to help him clean up Mthatha
The KSD municipality would only win its battle to clean up the filthy streets of Mthatha if residents and businesses helped, said KSD mayor Nyaniso Nelani on Wednesday.
Nelani was leading municipal workers, business people and residents in a cleanup of the inner city.
Later, Nelani officially launched an “Adopt-a-Street” campaign, which has seen several businesses keeping specific streets clean.
“We have said everyone should own this town,” he said.
Nelani said 10 streets were being cleaned by businesses, including banks, fuel stations, pharmacies and retailers.
In the OR Tambo district municipality the local business chamber is keeping Nelson Mandela Drive clean.
Nelani dispelled fears the city would be replacing the municipality’s own cleaners, saying: “They will help us control and monitor the streets, and to raise awareness about the importance of keeping the city clean”.
“We are not replacing our own workforce, but these businesses will invest in landscaping and turning the city green.
"They will provide tables and umbrellas to informal traders in front of their shops.
"In the end, the whole situation of trading will be better controlled and managed.”
He said the municipality had finished reviewing its bylaws on littering and dumping.
Residents could expect stiff penalties for breaking these bylaws.
AV Plaatjie High School pupil Zimbini Bam, 19, from Zimbane, said “Mthatha has become renowned for its dirtiness and its high crime rate”.
Noncikane Hlanya, a mother of five from Mandela Park informal settlement, said the dishevelled city could look much better if residents stood up and did something.
Hlanya and her neighbour, pensioner No-Last Mbheki, urged the municipality to employ more local people to clean up.
“Our children are sitting at home while the town is dirty.
"Why not employ them?”