The failure of Sakhisizwe Local Municipality to collect refuse has forced local residents to take over the municipality’s duties, according to local AfriForum chairperson, Denis Schmidt.
Speaking to The Rep earlier today, Schmidt said refuse collection failure by the municipality was an ongoing problem in Elliot and an infringement of the residents’ constitutional rights.
Local residents had approached the NPO for help, said Schmidt.
“We act on behalf of our members in Elliot, who gave us the mandate to address issues of concern to communities,” Schmidt wrote in a letter to Sakhisizwe mayor Buyiswa Ntsere.
“The reason for this letter is we as representatives of the community have been approached by the residents of Elliot with the complaint of the municipality not picking up the rubbish,” read the letter, dated September 3.
The residents wanted to know when the problem would be rectified. According to Schmidt, the response from one of the municipal workers was that there were no drivers. This was despite the fact that “we find the truck driving in town. We went to the offices in Elliot but we get no help or assistance there.”
In an email this week, Schmidt demanded a response from the mayor.
“We still have had no response from you regarding this issue. The residents of Elliot together with AfriForum had to clean up the town and remove the black bags from the houses ourselves. The right of the residents in Elliot have been infringed upon,” Schmidt wrote.
He added: “It is not even a week after the residents of Elliot and AfriForum cleaned up the town, it is looking a mess again because again the truck has not come. We ask that you please reply with reasonable answers and not only “Noted” as a reply like your last reply.”
The Rep contacted the mayor earlier today and her response was: “I received (AfriForum’s) letter and I acknowledged receipt of the letter. I will respond to them by Monday. We are handling their concerns.”