The stench of silence strikes

Since January of this year, the Makana municipality has imposed increasing burdens on the city as Water and Sanitation employees continue their strike against the lack of proper gear and protection against work hazards.

Due to what has been termed the ‘silent strike’, since the employees arrive at work but refuse to provide services until their demands are met, the city’s residents and visitors alike have borne the consequences of poor municipal management.

The city’s refuse has piled up since late January, prompting strong reactions from the community. Between the dwindling water supply and the lack of basic public services, residents have been understandably irritable when asked about this.

Former resident of Makhanda, Lewis Dwyer says, “the main govt should disband the municipality and bail them out. They have to fix the corruption before they can fix anything else.”

Long-term residents* favour the idea of a citizen municipality to take over and handle city service matters, while students still hold an idealistic view that the municipal problems can be solved by the national government. However, both parties still agree that the municipal system and the management, rather than the employees in the service sector, are at fault.

Thankfully, due to this increasingly unhygienic burden on the residents, local companies have offered to collect refuse en masse from residential areas during the week. And as more residents see the benefits of recycling – since waste segregation helps cut down the rubbish by more than half – the options available to students become ever more appealing.

According to the University, waste can be effectively managed  on and off campus by dropping off recyclable waste at the various recycling points on campus; and by contacting off-campus recycling centres.


*Wished to remain anonymous