root - August 15, 2023

Subcouncil 3 manager says area is too volatile to render services. 

Peter Luhanga

On Friday 4 August, after more than a month without any refuse collection, over 100 residents from Dunoon and surrounding informal settlements marched about 7km to the Blaauwberg municipal subcouncil offices.

The protesters marched in the MyCiTi bus dedicated lane to avoid disrupting traffic. Police closely monitored the march, and again when the protesters had to walk back home.

At the subcouncil gates they chanted, “We are fighting for our rights”, and they waved placards that read: “Thembeni squatter camp access road is blocked by solid waste” and “Riverside has no toilet no water”.

A memorandum of grievances, on South African National Civic Organisation letterhead, was read out to subcouncil 3 manager Roxanne Moses, who stood behind the metal fence. It listed poor sanitation, some informal settlements without running water or toilets, and communal flush toilets without janitor services.

The subcouncil was given seven days to respond.

Ethembeni informal settlement resident Siphokazi Simayile said there has been no refuse removal and no sanitation services in the area since June, when the financial year ended.

“The toilets are blocked. The shacks that were burnt [in a fire on 4 July] have no electricity … Access roads are flowing with grey water. There are plenty of rats and flies,” she said.

Zukiswa Kobe, from Doornbach informal settlement, where she has lived since 2008, said, “People keep their home doors shut all the time. Our [bucket] toilets are not being cleaned as uncollected refuse has made the area inaccessible to the City toilet cleaning contractor.”

Dunoon section 23 community leader Zukile Gwayi said refuse was piling up along the streets and drains are now blocked.

Moses said the City was setting up requests for quotes from contractors to render municipal services month to month in the interim as the City of Cape Town solid waste department cannot access the area safely.

“Dunoon is now a volatile area … We can’t access the area full blast,” said Moses.

She said the memo will be sent to all line departments involved. — GroundUp

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