From the cleanest town to the rubbish bin, where are Newcastle’s street cleaners?

From the cleanest town to the rubbish bin, where are Newcastle's street cleaners?
"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?"

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? 

Share your views in the comment section below.

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2 Responses

  1. Have a look, all these issues are caused by unlawfully issues not been addressed.
    Unlawfully dumping.
    Unlawfully beggar’s on all road crossings
    Taxi’s no respect of road rules while our traffic department does nothing to stop it. (Look at the awesome vechiles they use 4×4’s, Double cap bakkies, SUV’s and so onwards, why don’t they safe on a marked pool car system with vechiles belongs to the Municipality, big savings and more people to clean town)
    Big muncipilties management salaries.
    Take out all politics of muncipilties.
    Newcastle Municipality accounts one of most expensive Muncipilties in South Africa
    One of the worst managed/corupt and service performance Municipalities in South Africa.
    Time for Newcastle residents to claim back our town and get specialists to run our towns Municipality without any politions to do so.

  2. The only way it will work, is that there should be one supervisor with a team and targets set, given the area they must clean. The supervisers should only get a daily commission and then the municipality people checking them, because people that are supervised will work… unsupervised theyare on slow motion or just sitting or lying under trees sleeping. Something must be done..because it is a shame that our town looks like a rubbish dump. We should be proud of our town. If it is clean we will draw investors so that more jobs, will be created

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