‘Forum’ brings refuse removal to halt

The Tshwane metro says members of the Business Forum stopped garbage trucks and removed the keys from drivers to prevent refuse collection.

The Tshwane metro has called for residents to be patient while it finds solutions to the refuse collection crisis.

The collection of refuse in Mabopane, Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa has stalled since 3 May, leading residents’ complains about uncollected rubbish piling up in the street.

Tshwane metro member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for environmental management, Councillor Michael Mkhari said a group calling itself Business Forum had disrupted service demanding its members get the contracts to remove and dispose of waste in those townships.

“The forum has waged in unacceptable, uncalled-for and frustrating conduct that is not in keeping with the values that seek to ensure that the residents and business community benefit from services rendered by the municipality,” said Mkhari.

Rekord was this week inundated with calls from residents of the three townships saying waste had not collected this week.

One resident said dogs were scavenging from the uncollected bins lining the streets, felling them and scattering waste everywhere.

Mkhari said the metro was trying to find solutions.

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“From time to time the affiliates of the forum disrupt the waste management service,” he said.

He said the members of the forum caused the disturbance under the pretext that the metro had not offered the waste removal contract to them.

“To ensure transparency, the current administration has aligned itself with the open tendering system,” said Mkhari.

“This simply means that a service provider gets awarded a contract through a fair bidding competition.

“In this case the city granted contracts to qualifying service providers whereas the forum wants its members to receive contracts without following due process.

“No forum or company will be awarded a contract outside the city’s normal tendering process as that will be tantamount to favouritism, maladministration and corruption – gone are those days.

In addition, our metro is morally and legally bound to ascertain the provision of clean surroundings and households that are free from waste materials.

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The public has to know that the deviant actions by the forum members stand on the way of the service delivery intended for them which is the reason the environment is so contaminated.”

On Thursday, forum members prevented access to all landfill sites in Pretoria.

Mkhari said they had informed him in a meeting recently they intended to render waste management in the city dysfunctional he said however, the metro had not been aware that meant they would stop garbage trucks, take the keys from and threaten the drivers’ lives with death.

“The city has been left with no option but to obtain a court interdict to stop the members of the forum intimidating waste management workers, vandalising garbage trucks and trespassing on municipal property [landfills].

“The deliberate destruction of the city’s property will not be allowed.

The law-enforcement services have been activated to escort waste trucks ensure the continuation of collection and disposal of waste.

We remain committed to providing all communities with better service while we are dealing with all these challenges.”

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David Matsena

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