“We shut down the cleaning company because it wasn’t doing its job,” said Nophelele Mqikela, a community leader at Lower Crossroads in Cape Town.
Mqikela said they had blocked the business since June.
On Wednesday, the community gathered to clean the streets themselves. Resident Peter Shumi said, “We were hoping the city will come to pick up the garbage since we have already picked it up.”
“People from other regions come to throw dead dogs in our region. The cleaning company would leave all of that behind. What’s the use of having people cleaning our streets if they left them dirty? Said Shumi
Mqikela said: “We cannot let people continue to be paid even if they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing.”
She said they had filed complaints with Cape Town, but the city sided with the company.
Another community leader, Nozuko Nyhaba, said he was not happy with the town’s method of recruiting. “Their database chooses the same people over and over again,” she says.
THE CITY SHOULD CONSULT THE COMMUNITY
Nyhaba said the city should consult with the community when hiring cleaners and that they should be residents of the area.
“We believe that if the workers came from our area, we would not have the problem of streets that are not cleaned properly. They don’t care because they know they don’t stay in the area, ”she said.
Xanthea Limberg, a member of Mayco for waste, said the accusations made by residents were false. “The company is meeting the contract’s requirements in terms of hiring local labor,” said Limberg.
She said under the contract 50 people were hired to clean up the entire Brown Farm area and not just Ward 35.
She said community members were not allowed to dictate who benefits from the work offered under the expanded public works program. “Candidates are selected through a random process and come from within the boundaries of the local sub-council. It’s about ensuring fairness, ”Limberg said.
She said contracts are announced every three years and the current contractor is new.
The contractor, Masiqhame Cleaning Company, could not be reached for comment at time of posting.