AfriForum demands from the Tshwane municipality not to send bills for garbage disposal to the residents of the municipality.
This stems from the suspension of various services in this municipality since an illegal strike began at the end of July. Garbage collection services in the Tshwane metro have been practically brought to a standstill for the past two months.
That is why AfriForum argues that the charging of the garbage disposal tariff on residents’ monthly municipal accounts is not fair in these circumstances.
“Residents cannot be expected to continue paying for services that are not provided,” says Petrus Coetzee, AfriForum’s advisor for local government affairs. “AfriForum realizes that the metro is in a very difficult situation as a result of the strike, but it still has a constitutional obligation to residents to provide sustainable services such as garbage collection. It is therefore irrational to demand that residents have to pay for a service that is not provided.”
In a meeting with the metro last Thursday, AfriForum proposed that residents should only pay 50% of the normal rate for the period in which the services were not provided – the other 50% is used to fund city cleaning. As an alternative, AfriForum proposed that the accounts be calculated pro-rata according to the number of times the specific residents’ rubbish has been removed.
Coetzee further argues that the metro’s by-law on waste management provides for residents to request the metro to cancel their municipal waste removal services.
“It is important that residents provide good reasons if they request to cancel the service. A tremendous health risk as a result of the sporadic delivery of the service can be put forward as a reason. The cancellation of municipal refuse removal services and the appointment of private service providers can be a sustainable alternative to sectional title schemes and complexes, because these services may be better and cheaper.”
Coetzee says AfriForum has already done a lot of work to help solve the garbage crisis in a practical way. “Our branch structures have already taken care of garbage removal in Garsfontein and Moreleta Park with the help of private contractors as well as AfriForum’s security company, Forum Sekuriteit. Our branch in Pretoria West accompanied lorries and waste disposal employees on their route in this area and helped empty bins. Where possible, AfriForum will continue to offer solutions to resolve the crisis in the Tshwane metro. It is important that residents note that we can provide garbage removal services at a cheaper price if we are given the opportunity.”
The AfriForum branch in Moreleta Park has appointed a private garbage removal company to bring relief on Saturday to areas where garbage was last removed about four weeks ago. A total of 2,000 bins worth of rubbish was removed in Moreleta Park within seven hours.