The stinking waste next to a shop in Thohoyandou.
Hawkers in Thohoyandou are up in arms with the Thulamela Local Municipality.
Their grievance is the non-removal of waste in the town, which has degraded the town into a dumping site. Every corner of the town is packed with litter and the contents of the black plastic refuse bags are causing a terrible stench. Hawkers who sell their wares on street pavements and corners say the past week was the worst, with waste not collected for days.
Rumours doing the rounds in town are that the municipality is refusing to pay overtime to full-time waste-removal staff and the refuse-collection fleet breaks down time and again.
A hawker, who sells cooked food at one street corner and wanted to remain anonymous, said her business was collapsing as result of the stench that the waste was causing. “I have been working here for a long time and my business has been doing well, but since the municipality started not collecting refuse, we have lost a great deal. Customers are running away from this stink. We sometimes go home empty-handed and this is killing us hawkers. We are pleading with the municipality to do its job and clean the town,” she said.
Businessman Ayub Madina, who had up to 10 businesses in the town, said things had changed in the town of Thohoyandou. “We used to pay very reasonable amounts for rates and taxes, but as things are, we are being driven out of business because of the exorbitant charges. We are equally concerned as business owners about the state of our town. We fear that non-removal of the waste might decrease our businesses and chase potential customers away.”
He added that they were not “getting our money’s worth and the sooner the municipality monitors the waste services the better”.
Mr Eddie Singo of the Thulamela Business Forum said they were concerned about the state of affairs in Thohoyandou. “Our town has been turned into a dumping site and we blame the municipality for not cleaning the town. Every corner of the town is full of filthy and stinking waste and the municipality is not doing anything about it. We are now also urging our members not to fold their hands and wait for the municipality but to do something to save their businesses. Clean your corners for the sake of your businesses,” he said.
Thulamela municipality spokesperson Ndwamato Tshiila said no crisis existed, just a case of misunderstanding, and that everything was back to normal.
Date:16 August 2019 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.