JOBURG CBD TO UNDERGO MASSIVE CLEAN UP
The City of Johannesburg has launched a comprehensive, multi-million Rand operation to clean up the inner city.
“We are determined to make the inner-city a better place to live and work,” says Clr Ruby Mathang, the Member of the Johannesburg Mayoral Committee responsible for Development Planning and Urban Management. “We want to provide residents and visitors to the city with a safe, clean and healthy environment.”
Johannesburg has committed more than R7 million to the campaign that will target the Central Business District and the suburbs of Hillbrow, Joubert Park, Yeoville, Berea, Braamfontein and Doornfontein.
“We are moving through this area in a thorough and systematic manner cleaning up, removing rubbish and rubble and inspecting all buildings and vacant stands,” says Clr Mathang.
This campaign is a combined effort from a number of the city’s agencies including Pikitup, Johannesburg Roads Agency, City Power, Johannesburg Water, City Parks, Environmental Health, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, South African Police Service, Emergency Management Services and is coordinated by Region eight and the Inner City Task Force.
One of the initiatives, which has already been implemented in the inner city, is the ‘Block Owner’ programme. Under this initiative, Pikitup, the City’s Waste management company has allocated 10 staff members to a number of city blocks around Jeppe, Plein, Sauer and Delvers Streets, with flat bed trucks collecting waste and illegally dumped waste every two hours. This programme is an additional tool introduced by Pikitup to maintain the city streets’ cleanliness. The initiative runs in parallel to the company’s regular daily street cleaning services.
The joint effort between the various utilities will also ensure that the challenges around waste generation and collection are dealt with from a holistic point of view; whilst the educational component supports these efforts by investigating the cause of the problems to find sustainable solutions.
Clr Mathang says the clean up campaign will target a number of key problem areas:
Overcrowded buildings that are poorly maintained. In recent months there have been a number of fires in such buildings leading to loss of lives and destruction of property.
“The City will not hesitate to act decisively against wilful polluters, slumlords and people who profiteer out of the misery of others. They will experience the brunt of our enforcement actions,” he said.
The campaign involves a systematic survey of each premise in the area to determine the size of the problem. The owners of residential or business premises that pose health and safety risks will be instructed to clean up their environment. Follow-up inspections will take place and repeat offenders will be issued with spot-fines or summonses.
The city will provide adequate waste receptacles and conduct a regular sweeping of the city’s streets including over weekends. There will be high-pressure spraying down of pavements and alleyways and a thorough clean up of storm water catchment pits, drains and vacant stands.
“The Inner-city is a vital region for economic growth and social stability in Johannesburg,” says Clr Mathang. “A revitalised CBD will continue to attract more investment, business and tourism acting as a catalyst for further growth and development.”
Clr Mathang says the initial campaign will run for three months “but it will not be a once-off exercise. We will proceed with this on a continuous basis to prevent the future onset of grime and decay.
“We call on residents of the CBD to support our efforts and to make a greater contribution to keeping their own environment clean and safe. In this way we can jointly instil a sense of pride in our city amongst all Joburgers”.