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Post-lockdown: Muni to start cleaning up

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Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement last week of many relaxations to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the Polokwane Municipality is adamant to utilise its full capacity to restore its status as a former winner of the Greenest City Award by focusing on prevention of littering as one of its goals.
The restrictions that were imposed in the last six months have impacted on the city’s ability to attend to most of the routine maintenance activities and restrict itself to the delivery of essential services. With personnel now returning to their previous working schedules according to a phased-in workplace plan while still observing basic safety measures, true dedication and effort by a rejuvenated workforce may make a difference.
Following a recent article in Polokwane Observer, Communications and Marketing Manager of the municipality, Matshidiso Mothapo said they have noted the issues raised.
“We understand the frustrations brought to businesses in the tourism sector as a result of the lockdown. It is a common factor that the pandemic has frustrated operations across the spectrum and the municipality was not spared the disruptions in its operations. As a result all areas of operation including roads, waste and environmental management services and law enforcement were operating on a limping capacity with half the number of teams at any given time,” Mothapo said.
He said it is envisaged that with the lockdown regulations being relaxed, the municipal operations in these areas will run ahead smoothly as more staff members will be gradually increased into the teams. “The municipality has put together plans to intensify street cleaning and create educational awareness in regard to waste and environmental care,” he added.
“The municipality has noted an increase in the number of illegal on-street mechanics and will be implementing a campaign to remove them. To date, law enforcement was focused on Covid-19 compliance enforcement. The other focus area that is being intensified is on on illegal dumping, but the municipality cannot win this battle without the assistance of the public – first by not dumping illegally and secondly by reporting the perpetrators to the authorities.”

Story: Barry Viljoen