As service delivery deteriorates even further in bankrupt Makana, another threat is looming – that of disease. The municipality is unable to manage the daily waste generated in Grahamstown and has long stopped supplying black bags to indigent households. Illegal dumping has become the norm and many people now live in close proximity to what can only be described as dump sites.
A caring government prioritises the needs of its residents. The DA believes that a well-run province provides a good quality of life to all who live in it, along with access to basic services. The bulldozer that has operated at the main dump site is now broken and the municipality cannot afford to have it repaired. Currently, a front-end loader is simply covering sand over the daily intake of garbage. Rats and other vermin are breeding rapidly and the smell generated by all the dump sites in the town is nauseating.
The DA is appalled by the rampant neglect of the Grahamstown rubbish dump. We urgently call upon the MEC for Health, Dr Phumza Dyantyi, to intervene before patients with bronchial disorders suffer the consequences of this increased air and land pollution, and further burden an already besieged Health Department with hospital admissions as a result. As dead vermin, faeces and other waste spill into diminished water sources, cholera is becoming a threat too.
The MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Fikile Xasa, has responded to Makana’s woes and several requests to be placed under administration under Section 139 (5) of the Constitution with a deafening silence.
The MEC for COGTA must act quickly and decisively to ensure that the situation is remedied and service delivery is restored. If not, the consequences are likely to be dire. What is needed is forward-thinking to address any challenges proactively, with innovation and with sustainability in order to leave a positive legacy for generations to come. — Jane Cowley MPL, Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Celeste Barker MPL, Shadow MEC for Health