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Garbage pile next to local

Being a child’s first encounter with a formal learning environment, an early childhood development centre (ECD) should ensure that learning takes place in a safe and healthy environment.

For staff members at Themba Kids Educare in Wallacedene, dumping has become a painful reminder of the basic services the community has been deprived of.

For months management has been struggling to get a piece of vacant land next to the centre cleared of garbage that has been piling up.

The land, a former municipal park, is now home to household waste that should have been long taken to a landfill site, away from human contact where people can fall ill.

Themba Kids Educare’s project manager, Alfred Venter, says the dumping which has been a problem is making it difficult to make the centre’s premises a conducive learning environment for the little ones.

“The dumping is very bad and those it affects the most are our learners,” he says.

Venter says numerous attempts to have the City clear the area have not yielded any results.

“We have been engaging with the City for months, but we still find ourselves under the same conditions.

“Promises have been made to us, but very little has been done.”

In July, after a visit from a senior foreman of the City’s solid waste management department, he says City officials have come to clear “only a portion” of the affected land.

“When the officials came to clean up, we were hopeful that the problem would eventually go away. To our surprise, only the piece was cleaned.”

Venter has lost faith in the municipality.

“I have come to the realisation that the City does not care about its people and it angers me. Driving through Wallacedene one can see the magnitude of the service delivery the community is lacking.”

He says the recent land invasion protests have added to the problem.

Venter says the City needs to start providing basic services to its residents.

At the time of going to print, the City had not responded to questions sent by TygerBurger.

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