Joburg's filth: A reply to Herman Mashaba

Derek Hanekom and Tito Mboweni's open letter in response to the mayor

Councillor Herman Mashaba

Executive Mayor of Johannesburg

Dear Colleague,

Thank you for your open letter of 10 January 2018.

Indeed, our responsibility as political leaders is to achieve clean cities and towns throughout our country, irrespective of the political affiliations of political leadership.

Our concern is that parts of Joburg have degraded alarmingly. Illegal dumping and littering, burning of waste in open air, vegetation destroying pavements and road verges, blocked storm water drains and overflowing sewers are not conducive to investment and tourism in Joburg.

We have not observed the same challenges in high income areas Of Joburg and are particularly worried about parts of the inner city and low income high density residential areas. Unfortunately, an awareness campaign cannot substitute the responsibility of ensuring that integrated waste management works.

Outsourcing this responsibility will not solve the problem. We are aware of initiatives Of residents who have resorted to employing street cleaners, in addition to their monthly waste management service bill.

We are also alarmed by the conversation that has ensued on Twitter which, by implication, suggests that a dirty location is justified, or at least not as bad, if there is a dirtier location elsewhere. We are as disturbed about illegal dumping in Standerton, for example, as we are about what we have seen in Joburg. We draw your attention to a tweet in the conversation that you may not have seen:

Derek Hanekom, 2 Jan 2019 @09h36 : @MyANC Mayors and Councillor, please rise to this challenge wherever you are in office. No One is immune from criticism. But the fact is, Joburg is our commercial centre and under the watch [email protected] it is worse than it has ever been.

Over the years we have participated in numerous clean up initiatives and support awareness initiatives.

Unfortunately, the National Executive Committee of the ANC is meeting on 19 January 2019 and we will not be able to join you in the A Re Sebetseng campaign. We are quite happy to participate in future clean-up activities, not only in Johannesburg, but in any part Of the country, as long as these are non- partisan. You seem to be unaware that Derek Hanekom has participated in clean-up programmes organised by the Miss Earth organisation, who are in partnership with the you.

Dear Mayor, we would like to invite you, and challenge you, to join us, at your convenience, to drive to parts Of the city that you may not see that Often, and may not be aware Of, where service delivery failure is quite alarming. These areas need urgent attention by the Municipality, under your leadership. It requires a lot more than a once- a-month clean-up campaign (as much as this is welcomed).


Derek Hanekom and Tito Mboweni
19 January 2019