The Democratic Alliance embarked on a litter pick up campaign in Buffalo City today which was very well received by local residents despite receiving very unfortunate backlash aligned to the South Africa Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU). The streets in Buffalo City are in a dreadful state and we took the initiative to clear up litter along Oxford Street; we expect the municipality to remove the rubbish bags that we’ve collected as this is their responsibility.
The municipal leadership has allowed the situation in East London to get out of control; instead of facing the issue head on, they’ve decided to avoid it completely by pandering to the violent and illegal SAMWU strike and in doing so they have allowed the union to hold the city ransom. Garbage in East London has not been collected for weeks. This kind of scenario did not happen during the Mandela and Mbeki presidencies, this has become a feature of the Jacob Zuma presidency.
The DA sent out a media alert informing the public of our litter pick up campaign. We had taken a photograph of Oxford Street yesterday to show the amount of rubbish that had been strewn in the gutters,and when we arrived in Oxford Street this morning, some of the rubbish had been cleared. The media alert forced the municipal council to act and to clean up the streets in Buffalo City. This shows that the DA delivers, and where the DA delivers we force the municipality to deliver as well.
During the course of the day, municipal workers taunted and even attacked DA members while they emptied out black garbage bags that DA members had filled up along Oxford Street. One municipal worker was even heard saying, “You can clean it up but we will make it filthy again”.
One of the main reasons why we embarked on this campaign is simply because Buffalo City will be hosting national and international events this weekend and we don’t want our guests to be exposed to the filth in our city as this kind of scenario will mean that they will never return to the city which has an enormous impact on our tourism industry.
East London is hosting the Africa golf tournament which is an international event which should be used to showcase our city. There is also a national rowing regatta which brings people from all nine provinces to East London imagine what impression the state of our city will leave on them. On Sunday the Daily Dispatch annual cycle tour will be hosted on our beachfront, we sincerely hope that the beachfront will be clean for this event.
The other main reason for the DA embarking on a clean-up campaign is that we undertook in our manifesto for the ward 3 by-election to do all in our power to clean up the ward. This activity shows that the DA delivers on its promises. We challenge the municipality to fulfill its responsibility and clean the city.