Give Cape Flats a clean-up


URGENT: Illegal dumpers have taken advantage of an open field opposite Cedar Primary School in Bonteheuwel. The reader asks for the mayor and premier to prioritise the problems of litter and illegal dumping in neglected areas to make them more like the beautiful park-like northern and southern suburbs. 

CAPE TOWN – I refer to policeman Keith Blake’s letter of July 17 about the problem of illegal dumping, as well as the general amount of waste and rubbish polluting our beautiful city, but most particularly in the Cape Flats townships.My appeal is also to ask the premier, the mayor and other department heads tasked with waste removal and monitoring, to make this problem a priority and to come up with a plan of action to eradicate it.

Also, councillors need to become part of this solution and involve street committees etc, so that all inhabitants can become proud of our city and townships. The commercial centres of townships, where street vendors conduct their business, need to be supplied with more bins than the traditional business model in privileged centres. And the cleaning of streets, grime and waste needs to have an action plan developed to suit the density and number of people residing in each area.

It is clear that the townships do not have enough rubbish bins or regular street cleaning and refuse removal, as the problem appears to be on the increase. Also, it’s likely there might be more people than the city caters for residing in an area, so accurate census figures are needed.

While this is a complex topic, it requires urgent and diligent intervention. Or does an NGO need to bring legal action for a resident in Khayelitsha or Gugulethu to enjoy the same number of bins per person and removal as that which is enjoyed by a Claremont resident?

More bins are required, and they need to be emptied more times a week than presently, and roads and parks need increased frequency of (waste) removal and, if necessary for a year or two, even to receive more cleaning pro rata until the problem is sorted out, I suggest.

Does our constitution not guarantee each citizen the right to a clean and healthy environment in a fair way, not as presently skewed in an apartheid-centric way, where resources were primarily focused on the privileged areas and the townships forgotten?

It’s time we all begin to see and visit Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Gugulethu and Langa and take an interest in these areas so they start to resemble, both in cleanliness and greening, the beautiful park-like environments in our northern and southern suburbs.

* Michael Pickstone-Taylor, Franschhoek.