Monday, April 22, 2013

Shack dwellers ‘living in filth’

Kayamandi - A little over a month after a fire destroyed hundreds of shacks and left thousands homeless in Kayamandi outside Stellenbosch, the community has all but rebuilt itself. Yet, residents have complained that they have faced a chronic lack of solid waste removal since the fire.

Resident Vuyo Ngxubaza said her queries to the municipality had initially fallen on deaf ears.

Now the municipality has apparently responded to her by explaining there was only one refuse truck serving a large area, and they were working on fixing this.

“I’m very disappointed because I thought that there would be a better explanation than that,” Ngxubaza said.

“There are dump sites that haven’t been cleaned in over a month. This, after a garbage truck used to come two or three times a week in 2012.”

Resident Bulelwa Masanini said she was also disappointed.

Municipality spokesman Vernon Bowers said he would follow up the community complaints, adding merely that “Kayamandi is cleaned more often than other parts of Stellenbosch”.

Queries to the municipality’s waste removal section were referred back to Bowers. He elaborated on what the municipality had achieved in terms of aid and relief after the fire.

He said 28 000 meals, 1 357 housing kits, security, and the replacement of lost identity documents had been sponsored by the municipality. The efforts cost the municipality close to R14 million, he added.

“Stellenbosch Municipality cleans Kayamandi, which includes Zone O, twice a week. We are engaging the community of Zone O to attend to their claims. Our approach to complaints about service delivery matters is to resolve any challenges by working with the community,” said Bowers.

Another resident, Nelson Mayezana, said he had been through similar fires before and he was impressed with the municipality’s response to this one.

“The building materials they gave us were particularly welcome,” he said.

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