| CAPE TOWN

City cleans up rubbish dumps at Marikana

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After nine months, the City has started to remove piles of garbage at the Philippi East informal settlement

Photo of a rubbish truck in a field
City of Cape Town City clearing the rubbish tip at Marikana informal settlement. Photo: Axolile Notywala
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The City of Cape Town has been clearing up the informal rubbish dumps where garbage has been piling up for months in the Marikana settlement in Philippi East.

Residents have been complaining that rubbish that has not been collected in the area for nine months. Then, last week, the Social justice Coalition (SJC) and residents started to clean up the area.

Residents had been asking the City for plastics bags and containers in which they could store the rubbish, making it easier for the City to collect.

The Marikana community has over 6,000 people. It started in 2014. Residents are currently awaiting judgement in a court case in which the landowners want the state to buy them out or compensate them.

Axolile Notywala, head of the Local Government Programme at the SJC, said he hopes the City talks with the community from now on. “There is no need for people to have to protest in order to get services,” he said.

“We hope that they [the City] engage the community and ensure that they receive the plastic bags and other services regardless of whether they are on private land or not,” said Notywala.

A community leader, Thembani Landu, said, “We are happy that we called out to them [the City] and they listened, even though it took long, but they came and cleaned the place. We now have a clean place which we also can be proud of and our children can go and play safely.” 

Mayoral Committee Member Xanthea Limberg said the City would not be providing plastic rubbish bags as “the land is currently subject to a court case and at this stage remains privately owned. As such, the City can only legally provide very limited services including toilets and taps on City-owned land on the periphery of the settlement.”

She said, “The City has been providing ad hoc removal of dumped material since the settlement formed.” She said she was aware of the recent “community-led clean-up initiative.”

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