The city of Cape Town has temporarily suspended rubbish collection services in the Nyanga area after a crew of waste management workers was threatened and robbed by armed individuals on Thursday. The workers were targeted while collecting refuse in Fenqe Street, Nyanga.
Grant Twigg, the MMC for Urban Waste Management, provided details of the incident, stating that on September 28, 2023, a refuse collection crew encountered eight armed men who demanded a protection fee for safe passage through the area. In addition, the assailants robbed one staff member of his phone.
This unfortunate event follows a recent tragedy in which two security guards, who were accompanying garbage trucks, were shot and killed in Philippi East earlier this month. These incidents have raised concerns about the safety and security of waste management personnel in the city.
Another company that is contracted to remove garbage in Marikana area in Philippi East has also stopped working. This is after its manager who spoke to Ezitshisayo said he was called by collection fee guys demanding R16000. He said they wanted that money to allow them to work in the area and they will pay R10 000 monthly from October.
“The challenge is that they don’t only want this money for the whole area. When you go to another section, another group demands money again. For example, in Philippi, you will meet different groups from different sections demanding that money. A company won’t survive that,” he said.
In response, the City of Cape Town has decided to collaborate with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and law enforcement authorities to ensure safety of waste management workers. Measures are being put into place to address the increasingly dangerous situations faced by these workers.