Joe Slovo’s ward councillor and the City are ignoring the community, say residents left fuming after the community was swamped by rubbish.
The rubbish choked Freedom Way, Democracy Way, Kiwu Road and other parts of the community last week.
Noxolo Mayeki, Joe Slovo Crisis Committee member, accused the councillor, Anthony Benadie, of undermining the community.
“He doesn’t avail himself to us. Even when he does, it’s always in a manner that leaves a bitter taste in our mouths. He makes promises that he can’t keep and often makes decisions on behalf of the community without consulting residents or the Joe Slovo leadership,” she said.
“This is one of the reasons we have this huge crisis of piling rubbish. We are not consulted about community projects so that we can have a say. We could really help because we live here and we know the issues.”
Mr Benadie won Ward 4, which spans Joe Slovo, Milnerton Ridge, Montague Gardens, Phoenix, Summer Greens and Sunset Beach, in November 2021.
Bonginkosi Zembe, a Joe Slovo resident of 15 years, said that what worked for one part of the ward did not necessarily work for another.
“Look, we share the same ward as Royal Ascot and Milnerton. Both those areas are very close to our community. However we are so different. Our issues are so many. The socio-economic issues we face here are really bad. Some of these issues are life threatening.
“Do Milnerton residents have to worry about where their next meal will come from? Do they have to worry about their health because they live next to an illegal dumping site which has rats? I am not blaming those residents for being in a better community. I’m just questioning our government and elected leaders as to why we don’t get the help we need.”
But in Phoenix, just a stone’s throw from Joe Slovo, Maxine Brink said it was pointless blaming the councillor for self-inflicted problems such as illegally dumping.
“I get it that people get frustrated with the government, the City and the councillor. However, you can’t use that as an excuse to mess up your own community. Let’s face it, it’s the residents themselves that do this illegal dumping. Some people don’t care about the area. They just throw any kind of rubbish in the streets, nappies and sanitary products in the drains, etc. What do you want the councillor and the City to do? They can’t be there 24/7 to police every single person who litters. The people need to start calling out those that are guilty of this and work together,” said Ms Brink.
Mr Benadie said a lapse in a cleansing contract could have contributed to the pile-up of rubbish because the old contract had expired on June 30 and a new contractor had been appointed on July 3.
“However, the are so many other factors involved here. Joe Slovo is regarded as a formal area because of the RDP houses there. So each house is allocated a wheelie bin. The problem is that these houses are now overcrowded so the bins are at capacity long before the City’s refuse removal services come through every week. So additional contractors are appointed to deal with the piles of excess rubbish. Still there is a problem here too because of constant shacks popping up, the roads are so tight that bin trucks can’t even go into those streets to pick up the wheelie bins and collect rubbish.”
Mr Benadie said an expanded public works programme project had recently been launched that would include Joe Slovo.
He said he had always made himself available to all communities since taking office in 2021.
“Speaking of taking office, we have offered Joe Slovo a seat on the ward council committee since 2021. To this day, it doesn’t seem like they can agree on who from the community should be part of the ward committee. These ward committee meetings keep residents and community leaders in the loop of certain things getting attention.”
Report illegal dumping to 0800 110077. Those convicted of illegal dumping could be fined up to R5 000, have their vehicle impounded, or face a two-year prison sentence.