ENVIRONMENT IN FORMER DISENFRANCHISED RESIDENTIAL AREAS CONTINUE TO DEGENERATE
FILTH, RUBBISH, WASTE AND TRASH ENGULFS EASTBURY DRIVE IN PHOENIX
(RUBBISH, LITTER, WASTE, FILTH AND BIN BAGS THROWN ALONGSIDE EASTBURY DRIVE IN PHOENIX)
By Subry Govender
Filth, litter, rubbish and other unseemly trash have become the order of the day in many parts of residential areas inhabited by former disenfranchised citizens.
This is clearly visible when one visits areas such as Tongaat, Sea Tides, La Mercy, Canelands, Waterloo and Verulam and surrounding areas on the North Coast. Residential areas such as Phoenix, Inanda, KwaMashu, Newlands, Reservoir Hills, Effingham, Cato Manor, Sydenham and Asherville are no better.
The situation is just as terrible in areas such as Wentworth, Merebank, Chatsworth, Umlazi, Isipingo and other neighbouring areas.
Empty bottles, bin bags, cigarette boxes, empty fast-food wrappers, and just about every kind of waste material have become an eye-sore in several areas under the jurisdiction of the Ethekwini Municipality.
The other day (Sunday, Feb 14) I drove through Phoenix and was disgusted at the litter and filth in the streets and rubbish and bin bags dumped in some of the streets. One particular road, Eastbury Drive, resembled a large dumping ground for waste.
It seems that some residents adopt a "don't care attitude" and just throw their filth and rubbish on roads opposite their homes and are just not concerned about the environment. The same goes for some motorists and their passengers who just throw any rubbish from their vehicles onto the roads.
They appear to have adopted the attitude that if the streets and the environment are not cleaned and kept tidy by the municipality and there are no "Don't Litter" and "Don't Dump" signs around, they would just contribute to the degeneration by dumping their rubbish and waste material onto the roads.
In neighbouring Ottawa, the filth, litter, waste material, scrap yards and trucks, and the destruction through dumping of the Ohlange River that is supposed to flow through the town, have contributed to the general degeneration of the once beautiful village.
The tragedy is that while the democratically-elected Ethekwini Council has stated that it's concerned about protecting and promoting the environment, very little or nothing is done to educate the general populace about the dangers of littering and throwing waste material "here, there and everywhere".
"VERULAM, A DUMP"
There are no bins on streets in most of these residential areas for residents and passers-by to throw their waste material. In the main and other streets in Verulam for instance, residents say there are no toilet or water facilities for street vendors and customers.
"On most days the litter and filth makes the central area of Verulam look like a dump," said Mr Anand Guraya, a local resident.
"The place is degenerating fast despite efforts by the municipality to clean up on a daily basis."
NO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
He said people would continue to throw their litter and other waste material on the streets because there's very little environmental education by the municipality.
"We have to plead to the municipality and the authorities to do more to protect the environment," he said.
The tragedy of our new democracy is that while very little is done to keep former disenfranchised residential areas clean and tiday, former privileged areas, on the other hand, seem to enjoy all the facilities to be cleaned up at all hours.
It seems that a sense of inferiority prevails in some quarters and among some councillors in the City Hall.
With the local government elections around the corner, one would expect that ratepayers and taxpayers are treated equally, without any short cuts. But it seems that certain people believe they will remain in power for ever.
Those in power in the municipality must understand that there will come a time (let's hope its soon) when the people will say: "We gave you a chance and you have treated us shabbily. Now do something so that all ratepayers and taxpayers, not just the privileged, are treated equally in our new democratic South Africa."