Mini dump sites across Ekurhuleni have been closed, apparently because the Ekurhuleni metro failed to renew tender contracts for these sites on time.
Ward 23 councillor André du Plessis described the current state of affairs as extremely serious, citing bad planning and inefficiency as the cause.
He added that Ekurhuleni is becoming a “trashopolis” and that the waste department is in crisis.
Du Plessis, who is also the DA shadow MMC for Environmental and Waste Management, said the dump sites are being closed because the tender for the contractors expired on July 1.
“Ekurhuleni has not yet renewed the contracts,” du Plessis said.
The City Times visited the Northmead Mini Garden Disposal Site in Hospital Road today (Wednesday) and can confirm that waste is being dumped on the pavement by the public .
Du Plessis said this creates a health hazard and more resources will be required – at enormous cost – for the metro to clean this up.
“The MMC for Environmental Resource and Waste Management, Clr Ndosi Shongwe, must be held accountable for not ensuring these contracts were signed in time,” du Plessis said.
“The buck stops with her.
“If she can’t do her job properly then she must do the honourable thing and resign.”
Dump site employees who were contracted to Upward Spiral, who had the tender, say they are not going anywhere despite being told to go home because they have no jobs.
The employees say a man from the municipality shut the gate of the dump yesterday (July 3).
The man allegedly told the employees they should pack up and go home, without any prior notice of their unemployment.
“It is hard if you are not working. We are suffering and have children and families to support,” said an employee, who did not want to be named.
Another employee said he has been working at the site for 13 years and has no pension fund because they have only been paying towards the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
The employees believe that there is a “fight” over the awarding of the tender and that this is the reason for the delay in resuming their duties.
Du Plessis said a manager at another mini depot is attempting to alleviate the crisis by finding a temporary contractor to clean the dumps.
“However, this requires authorisation from the municipality, which has not yet been granted,” he explained.
While on site, a Brentwood Park resident, Frans Baloi, arrived at the dump site to offload rubble and rubbish from a job he was working on.
He found the gates closed and asked what was going on.
An employee told him that the dump had been closed and they were unsure about the future of the site.
Baloi, like many other members of the public, then discarded his refuse on the pavement because he had to move on to another job and needed the space in his vehicle.
The Northmead Clinic, next to the dump site, is also affected by the dumped refuse.
Fresh Shabangu, a caretaker at the clinic, said the municipality should resolve the matter.
“This is a clinic; we cannot have this on our doorstep,” he said.
“This can cause infections and people can get sick because of this dumping.”
Du Plessis said despite alerting the municipality to the impending expiration of contracts, the metro failed to do much about the situation.
The metro was contacted for comment but none had been received at the time of publication.
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