The Arlington Waste Disposal Site is the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro’s largest waste disposal facility, yet it has become a no-go area due to the increasing levels of crime in the area.
Today, 7 July 2020, I conducted an oversight inspection at the Site and was joined by DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader, Cllr Nqaba Bhanga, DA Shadow MEC for Finance, Retief Odendaal, MPL, DA NMB Spokesperson for Safety and Security, Cllr John Best, and DA Ward 1 Cllr Tracy Weise.
We were also accompanied by officials from the municipal directorates for safety and security and public health as well as affected business people and residents.
The DA in NMB have been raising concerns about the Arlington Site for more than a year including tabling a motion in council in June 2019 calling for urgent security upgrades. In August 2019 the safety and security portfolio committee of council conducted a site visit at Arlington.
A report was submitted to the ANC political leadership and the City Manager’s office, but the coalition of corruption government has failed to implement these recommendations. The “Interim” Mayor, Cllr Tshonono Buyeye, made promises at a hastily called site visit yesterday, 6 July 2020, that a concrete wall would be built around the facility. Such a wall is estimated to cost R46 million to construct – and has not been budgeted for at all in the 2020/21 financial year.
Some of the short, medium and long term implementable solutions that the DA proposes include:
- Repairs to the existing cement palisade fence, with daily patrols to identify any new damage, so that immediate repairs and maintenance can take place;
- Metro Police and Security Mobile Response Units to conduct regular, random visits at Arlington;
- A visitors register to be implemented;
- On site security to be increased and to conduct regular patrols, especially around dumping sites;
- Installation of alarms/panic buttons;
- Installation of CCTV and lighting;
- Public Health to ensure sufficient staff to monitor access control and legislative compliance including being adequately equipped with 4×4 vehicles and TLB’s to do so;
- To commence with the procurement process of erecting a minimum of 2 security watchtowers; and
- To replace the existing palisade fence with a solid concrete fence – in the long term.
I have forwarded these proposals once again to the city manager’s office.
The DA will continue to put pressure on the coalition of corruption to immediately implement these proposed solutions.