Pietermaritzburg waste management system draws complaints

South Africa

Pietermaritzburg – KwaZulu Natal’s capital city, Pietermaritzburg, was once known as the city of flowers. But, over the years, it’s become known as the city of filth.

“I still remember driving in the city, before coming into office, seeing a newspaper headline calling us the capital city of filth. That is why I prioritised waste management when we came in,” said Pietermaritzburg mayor, Mzi Thebolla.

Almost a year and a half into office, Thebolla’s city is still full of mounds of filth and overgrown verges on sidewalks.

The issue appears to be two-fold: a waste management system that has collapsed, and illegal dumping that has gone unpunished.

The issue is now affecting business and fuelling an unhygienic environment amid the second wave of Covid-19.

“Just simply touching a counter, you can pick up the infection, but now we’ve got rubbish that’s been lying outside for days and weeks,” said local businessperson Larry Naidoo.

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