Khayelitsha residents dump garbage in protest at overflowing sewage
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Cape Town - Site C residents emptied their garbage bins at the City’s offices in Makhaya, Khayelitsha, in protest over uncollected garbage on Tuesday.
The residents said that garbage thrown into a sewage canal had caused blockages and consequently flooding to their homes in Shukushukuma, a nearby informal settlement.
Resident Xolani Gwili said that last week after numerous consultations with the Subcouncil 9 manager and ward councillor the residents barricaded the roads in desperation over the stink and overflowing sewage.
“The sewage canal was blocked due to illegal dumping after a contractor tendered by the City stopped collecting garbage and resulted in people using the canal as a dumping site. In October last year we went to the municipality and asked them to clean the canal before the rainy season, but to no avail.
“It was after residents blocked the roads that the City people eventually came here last week on Thursday to drain the water from the canal. Another cleaning crew also came only to dump the garbage next to the canal, left at 12pm and never came back. Upon enquiring we were told that the people who had started the job were on leave. Mind you it's the rainy season and in no time the same garbage will be back on the canal,” he said.
Community leader Khaya Kama said the sewage had flooded shacks, and close to 50 families had abandoned their homes.
“The smell is unbearable, this is not healthy, especially during a pandemic, we don't expect our communities to be in such a situation, one crisis upon another. People are in danger, especially young people,” said Kama.
The City said it was aware of the situation and was mobilising role players to determine what could be done.
“It must be noted, however, that the settlement formed illegally on a stormwater detention pond that is designed to collect water when it rains. However, a refuse collection service is provided to Shukushukuma, as well as general cleaning. Cleaning has, however, been affected by a vehicle shortage in recent months – but it is taking place,” it said.