“This is what Benoni has become, a garbage dump,” was one of the comments made by a concerned citizen about the state of Voortrekker Street in Benoni CBD.
The resident, who lodged a complaint with the municipality and the ward councillor, showed the City Times photos of heaps of rubbish building up alongside the road.
The City Times went out to inspect the site and found the problem extends from the start to the end of the street.
Along with the rubbish heaps, vagrants and recyclers also occupied the area.
Themba Gadebe, the Ekurhuleni spokesperson, said the following about the situation:
“The city is aware of the situation in Voortrekker Street near the lake.
“The city has, through the Water and Sanitation Department, identified non-compliance from their water testing results, which was allegedly caused by illegal dumping into the lake by informal food traders.”
Gadebe said after investigations and findings conducted in March, the eastern and western sides of the street were in a bad condition.
According to the metro, the eastern side had two families living in appalling conditions in tents.
The families allegedly dump their refuse next to and into the lake and use the area as a toilet.
Other problems on the eastern side included hawkers, a barber and mechanics fixing taxis, limited refuse bins available and wastewater from the washing of taxis runs into the lake.
On the western side, the metro identified the land is used by informal traders who prepare food, and wastewater from washing dishes is deposited into the lake.
The metro also noted the palisade fencing around the lake is broken and the ground next/under the fence has descended.
Gadebe said action would be taken and statutory notices were issued to food hawkers in the area for contraventions.
Mechanics were instructed to discard oil containers in the correct manner and food hawkers were interviewed individually with health education provided to them during the investigations.
After a follow-up inspection was conducted in August, the metro found slight improvements on the western side with the stream being cleaned, refuse removed and effective refuse management by food hawkers.
Gadebe stated the following about the eastern side:
“The eastern side is still a challenge, but the city’s environmental health practitioners will continue to monitor the site.
“The Metro Police Department has been notified of the vagrants and the pest control is also being addressed.
“The litter will be cleaned as soon as a purchase order is issued to the service provider.”
Gadebe explained that the problems affected various departments.
Owing to this he said the metro will convene a multi-departmental team to develop a comprehensive plan of action to find a sustainable solution for the problems identified.
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