The City of Cape Town’s waste removal staff is facing violent threats and extortion attempts while delivering services in the Kosovo informal settlement and the surrounding Philippi East area. Despite the challenges, the City’s frontline delivery staff continues to provide door-to-door waste collection, area cleaning services, and waste disposal shipping containers.
In a show of solidarity with the waste removal staff, Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis recently visited the Kosovo informal settlement to extend his gratitude and support. He was accompanied by Alderman Grant Twigg, Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, and Alderman JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security.
Mayor Calls for Arrest of Extortionists
During the clean-up effort, Mayor Hill-Lewis publicly called for information leading to the arrest of those guilty of extortion. The Mayor emphasized the City’s commitment to ensuring the safe and efficient delivery of services to all communities. Law enforcement has been escorting the City’s waste removal staff to ensure their safety and the continuation of services in the region.
Extortionists Disrupting Waste Management Services
Local extortionists demanding protection fees have hindered contractors servicing the shipping containers in the Kosovo area, even resorting to damaging vehicles. In Samora Machel/Brown’s Farm, a contractor faced such severe safety threats that they have been unable to service the area for most of April. City staff, with law enforcement protection, have been working to maintain services in the meantime.
Alderman Twigg expressed his concerns over the disruption of waste management services in Philippi East and called on the public and the SAPS to collaborate in arresting extortionists and ensuring consequences for the criminality disrupting basic service delivery.
Public Urged to Use Tip-Off Line
Alderman Smith encouraged the public to utilize the toll-free tip-off line, offering rewards of up to R5,000 for information leading to the arrest of those targeting City staff with extortion and violence. The anonymous tip-off line, which can be reached at 0800 1100 77, relays information to the relevant City agency. The Rewards for Information Committee considers the application for the reward once an arrest or confiscation has been made. However, Smith cautioned that administrative processes might cause the reward payout to take several weeks or months after the arrest or confiscation.
Call for Cooperation and Vigilance
The City of Cape Town is making every effort to curb the menace of extortion and violence that is disrupting waste management services. The City is seeking the help of the public and law enforcement agencies to bring the culprits to justice and restore normalcy in the affected areas.
Mayor Hill-Lewis’ recent visit to the Kosovo informal settlement demonstrates the City’s commitment to delivering services to all communities. The ongoing efforts to improve waste management services in the City are a testament to the determination of the local government and the waste removal staff who continue to serve the community despite the challenges. The cooperation and vigilance of the public are essential in helping the City combat the extortion and violence that affects the delivery of basic services. By working together, the people of Cape Town can ensure a clean and safe environment for everyone.