As mentioned by multiple Newcastillians, the town has progressively transformed from its status of “the cleanest town in KwaZulu-Natal in 2008”, to downright filthy. The Witness in 2013 even went as far as to state, “Newcastle is dramatically outperforming other towns and cities around KwaZulu-Natal, on everything from cost-cutting to cleanliness.” So what has happened?
Firstly, when it comes to general workers employed to clean the streets of Newcastle, from the CBD to residential suburbs, there appears to be two options at play. Number one, there are merely not enough general workers to maintain the town. Secondly, people have increased the volume of rubbish to such a degree that workers cannot keep up. Nevertheless, the town looks terrible, and a solution is required from the entity managing it.
Therefore, due to the Newcastle Municipality employing the said general workers and constantly proclaiming they are a caring and transparent Municipality, the Newcastillian – Online News questioned the government entity on the deplorable state of Newcastle.
When asked the basic question of how many general workers the Newcastle Municipality employs, the inquiry was side-stepped with the following response. “The Municipality have hired and is still hiring a number of general workers that will be able to keep up with the pace Newcastle is growing with. The number of residents that we are servicing has doubled in recent years and the Newcastle Municipality has hired enough staff personnel to make sure our town is kept clean all the time.”
Concerningly, a simple drive or walk through Newcastle’s suburbs and CBD reveals an entirely different story. However, when asked about being a winner of the cleanest town, how does the municipality view the town’s cleanliness, and what do they attribute this problem too? Strangely, the Municipality responded with the following, “a clean town is essential for the existence of all living beings.” Further stating, it is their mandate to ensure they continue keeping our town a safe and clean environment to live in. Thus, dodging the question once again.
Moreover, when looking at how often these general workers perform their duties, as well as the decline in their visibility and performance in town, the Municipality stated, “There are designated days for garbage to be taken outside, so municipality workers can collect it and clean the town. Due to waste being dumped illegally and regularly in many areas around town, making it difficult for municipal workers to keep up with maintaining a clean town.”
With no real answers or direction given to residents and the business sector on this prominent issue, the government entity added that they motivate Newcastle residents to work together with the Municipality to build a sustainable environment for future generations. Admittedly, the public does play a role in the volume of litter (and if you are a contributor, you should be ashamed of yourself.)
However, the reality is that the Municipality’s fundamental focus must at all times be on the town and its betterment. And while the community does play a role in the overall cleanliness of Newcastle, one cannot deny that the Municipality should be playing an active role as well, especially in resolving the current issue, ensuring general workers conduct their duties punctually. To which and in conclusion, the Newcastle government entity said the following, “The Municipality plays an active role in keeping the town clean and provides residents with refuse bags to use instead of dumping waste everywhere. People should normalise using the skips provided rather than throwing waste in the streets and they should report those who dump illegally, which the Municipality will act upon. We need to take care of our town and nature environment by keeping our streets and public places clean all the time.”
As reported on and as stated by the Municipality, Newcastle is growing, and if this is not fixed now, one can but only imagine what the town’s streets will look like in the near future.
Considering the above-mentioned, what are your thoughts?
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