Story of a dirty town

Rubbish piles up in Lusikisiki

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Photo of rubbish piling up in the street
Residents of Lusikisiki complain that rubbish is piling up in the streets and the municipality is doing nothing about it. Photo: Buziwe Nocuze

Garbage is piling up on the streets of Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape and residents say it has been months since the Ingquza Hill municipality last cleaned the town properly.

Vendors and taxi drivers say their town is dirty and those assigned to cleaning it are failing them.

Sibongile Ngamla, who sell sweets and fruit, said Lusikisiki was the dirtiest town in the Eastern Cape. He said he “never” saw municipal workers cleaning the town.

“You might think I’m lying when I say I never saw them cleaning this town. It’s always like this, summer or winter. We have to jump over the rubbish in the streets in this town, because the rubbish is all over the place” said Ngamla.

He said the municipality was taking chances because people in rural areas knew nothing about their rights. “There are people who would love to get a job to clean this town”, said Sibongile.

Zikhona Voxeka said she was in town to shop because there were no shops in villages. GroundUp heard her from a distance shouting after she slipped on a banana peel.

“Where are these municipal workers? They must clean this town otherwise we will fall”, shouted an angry Voxeka.

When GroundUp approached her she was still trying to get up.

“I almost broke my leg”, she said. “If the municipal workers were doing their job properly, things would be better. I cannot blame the person who threw the peel on the street if all the dustbins are full”, she said.

Taxi driver Zimele Yako said the taxi rank was full of rubbish.

“I thought the municipality was supposed to pick up rubbish every week but in this small town it stays for months. They don’t seem to care about us”, said Yako. “I don’t think this will change anytime soon as it is not a new thing”, he said.

Mluleki Fihlani, Ingquza Hill municipal manager, said it was difficult to clean during the day because of the number of people and cars. 

He said municipal workers worked two shifts, from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm, but the problem was that shop-owners threw rubbish into the street. The municipality had repeatedly asked shop-owners to work with it, Fihlani said.

But on regular visits to Lusikisiki at different times of the day, GroundUp has never seen any municipal worker cleaning the town.

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TOPICS:  Government Human Rights

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