Essential because one is not expected to live in filth and squalor for days or even weeks on end.
However, the past two weeks have been a trying time for some in residential areas in Estcourt as they watch waste pile up on the sidewalks outside their homes.
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One resident in Hibiscus Avenue reports to have close to 40 refuse bags piled outside his home.
The cause … delayed refuse removal due to the hiccups being experienced by the local municipality as two refuse compactor vehicles are off the road.
As frustration peaks, Inkosi Langalibalele’s Municipal Manager Mr PS Mkhize attempts to quell the growing fury as residents start to inundate social media, the municipal office and the local media with questions about the inconsistent refuse removal.
Responding to questions from the Estcourt News that were sent last week, Mr Mkhize explained that the refuse collection was interrupted because one of the vehicles is being repaired due to serious mechanical issues with the transmission system and the other was pulled off the road after failing a test at the testing station.
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“For the refuse compactor NE 19337, the braking system is currently being repaired after the vehicle did not pass the examination session from our traffic department,” said Mr Mkhize.
To catch up in some areas, Mr Mkhize says that the municipality has been using two vans and are hoping to eradicate the backlog.
“We hereby appeal for calm and co-operation from the public during these difficult times.
“The municipality will ensure that in areas where refuse cannot be collected during this period, loud hailing will be done to inform the public not to take out their waste.
“This will ensure that waste is not scattered by animals and that an unhealthy environment is not created,” added Mr Mkhize.
However, this is certainly not the situation on the street as refuse bags are torn apart, litter scattered and growing heaps of black bin bags line the streets.
A Forderville resident who called the Estcourt News last week said that the messy situation is further compounded when municipal staff stack large numbers on refuse bags at a central point. For this resident, who did not want not be named; it is in front of her home.
“I have asked the staff to stop piling the bags in one person’s driveway. It is so frustrating when the dogs make a mess and one person has to clean it up,” said the resident.
She also conveyed appreciation to Ward 10 Councillor Edith Lite who she said took the initiative to remove refuse bags in Forderville areas last week. Finally on Monday, refuse from residential areas was removed.