The eThekwini Municipality’s Clean My City Programme has drawn the attention of street traders in central Durban as they have committed themselves to ensuring that the areas they trade in are well maintained and cleaned.
 
The clean-up campaign was launched by Mayor James Nxumalo yesterday and is part of the Municipality’s response to service delivery and social challenges identified in certain parts of the City.
 
This morning, 03/05/13, City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole led a team of senior managers, officials and volunteers to clean up the so-called “Whoonga Park” area in Albert Park. Tons of rubble was cleared from the site which had become an eyesore. Hundreds of people live in the open space adjacent the railway tunnel.
 
Amandla Endoda Cooperative for the street traders was part of the clean-up. Spokesperson for the Cooperative, Lindiwe Zuma, said the Municipality always encourages street traders to keep their areas clean.
 
“We wanted to be involved in this campaign because we often preach to our customers to dispose waste into the refuse bags provided. We have a role in causing filth in one way or another, so we need to get involved in efforts to keep our City clean,” said Zuma.
 
Sithole said the Municipality will mobilise all sectors of the community to be involved in this programme in order to fight litter and reclaim the City.
 
“We have the capacity to mobilise all resources and thus I see cleaning up this Park as marking the taking of baby steps on our long journey to Greatness as the City. We need to marshal the involvement of business, street traders, non-profit organisations, faith based organisations, education institutions, taxi owners and drivers,” said Sithole.
 
“We are under no illusion about the magnitude of the task at hand. In order to sustain our efforts we need to find sustainable solutions to the socio-economic challenges facing our people, especially those addicted to drugs and prone to commit criminal acts against innocent people. In particular, we need to ensure that the Department of Home Affairs is also brought on board to address the challenge of foreign nationals who are without valid papers. More importantly, enforcement of by-laws is going to play a vital role in ensuring that we sustain this Programme,” he said.
 
Ward 32 Councillor, William Zenzile said the Municipality should be congratulated for this very important initiative and intervention. He said he was hopeful that through this initiative the situation in the Albert Park area could be turned around.
 
“Our challenge now is to come up with the sustainability plan going forward. It is also important that we get a buy in from all affected stakeholders in order to deal with the many social problems in this area. We will have to work with all Government Departments in order to deal with the social problems, including Home Affairs, Social Development, Police, etc, and make this programme sustainable,” he said.
 
Police officers will from today be deployed to patrol the open space as a temporary measure, while a bigger plan is being drawn up.
 
Sabelo Mchunu (20) from Cato Crest, who quit school at Grade 11, is one of the people living at “Whoonga Park”. He said he decided to leave his home because the local “whoonga” dealer had been forced to close shop and the drug was no longer easily available.
 
“I have been smoking this drug for two years and I am addicted to it. Life is miserable, but I cannot quit smoking because I have full access to it here,” said Mchunu.
 
For more information, contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820/ 0827317456 or
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Unit. Contact Khaya
Sengani on 031 311 4808/083 339 6065 or email: senganik@durban.gov.za.