Makana mayor gives update on refuse removal

We are very happy to announce that refuse collection has finally resumed from this week going forward.

In the beginning of February 2019 municipal workers embarked on a go-slow demanding protective clothing and tools of trade. The go-slow affected a number of municipal services, including refuse removal, resulting in the temporary suspension of refuse collection for about eight weeks. We understand the negative impact this regrettable situation has had on the town and its residents. On 29 March 2019 all municipal staff members received their protective clothing, which included overalls, boots, gloves and masks. This means employees can now perform their duties efficiently.

We would like to thank residents and local businesses for their patience during the period when refuse was not being collected by the municipality. We understand that keeping piles of garbage in your premises or making alternative arrangements for refuse disposal is an inconvenience. We apologise sincerely to everyone who has been affected. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank local residents, businesses and civil society organisations who have contributed their time and resources to helping to keep the town clean during this period.

We understand the importance of an efficient and reliable waste management plan and we have taken steps to ensure that this is achieved. In response to the huge challenges of dumping and waste management the municipality has drafted an Integrated Waste Management Plan (IWMP), which is the umbrella plan as per the requirements of the National Environmental Management Waste Act 59 of 2008. The IWMP is available for public comment on our website (www.makana.gov.za) or these can be directed to the office of the Director: Public Safety and Community Services Kelello Magkoka on email: kelellom@makana.gov.za. The IWMP is the roadmap to a clean and healthy environment for all the citizens of Makana Municipality.

In addition to the IWMP which is a strategic and long term planning tool, the municipality has established an interim Waste Management Committee which will serve as a platform for waste dialogue with the public and the business sector. This will allow the representatives of the committee to facilitate the development and implementation of short to medium term solutions to the current waste management problems.

The municipality’s current short term solutions include: ensuring regular and uninterrupted refuse removal; availability of refuse removal vehicles; regular distribution of refuse bags to households; regular education and awareness campaigns targeting the public and businesses on waste management.

Medium term solutions include: reviewing refuse collection and disposal tariffs; reviewing municipal by-laws on waste management; holding monthly meetings with relevant stakeholders; integrating CWP and EPWP into municipal operations; establishing community recycling projects within various communities; ensuring compliance with the requirements of waste disposal at the municipal landfill site.

Illegal dumping is a huge challenge in Makhanda, particularly in the eastern part of town. The municipality alone can never solve this problem. We are therefore encouraged by the efforts of a start-up company which seeks combat this problem through recycling. Henta Live Trading is a small company that has been established by Thenjiwe Mdoko, Liziwe Kolisi, Nomacebo Ncoza and Zolile Nomlomo. Their company is situated at the illegal dumping site near Mrwetyana Secondary School in Joza. They recently secured the venue and they have already started sorting through the garbage at the site. The company believes it will play a significant role in cleaning the town if their newly-established project gets the support it needs.

We need more of this kind of activism to change people’s attitudes around waste management. I would like to challenge all of you to consider recycling as a worthwhile solution to the challenge of illegal dumping. I would like to warn residents that if we do not deal with the problem of illegal dumping we will face serious health hazards, such as rat infestation and other health related challenges.

Working together in unison we shall be able to make our city the cleanest in the province.

Hon. Executive Mayor Cllr. Mzukisi Mpahlwa.

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