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Tuesday Nov 19, 2013

Penalties, jail for Durban litterbugs

If you are caught littering or urinating in Durban's streets, you will be apprehended and possibly jailed or fined.

So says eThekwini's municipal manager, S'bu Sithole, who told The Mercury in an exclusive interview yesterday that city authorities intended cracking down on those breaking by-laws - a lesson its bosses had learned from Singapore. Sithole said that a harsh system had worked wonders in the sovereign city-state on the tip of the Malay Peninsula.

'Streets in Singapore used to be dirty until the government outlawed littering by arresting (litterbugs) and imposing heavy fines. Now it has the cleanest streets in the world,' he said. Durban's management held meetings every Monday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium to work on plans to achieve similar cleanliness goals.

Informal traders had been identified as the biggest challenge to the city's cleanliness, and trading licences would now be conditional and only renewed if the trader kept his or her environment clean.

Pedestrians and motorists also contributed substantially to littering.

The city would also embark on an education drive.

'We are also working on a programme where people involved in recycling will fight over rubbish because there will be none to find,' he said.

There were cleaning drives every Thursday and Friday.

'If you have seen the CBD in the early morning, you will notice that it is clean because we clean at night. The littering starts when people arrive in the morning.

He said that the local authority had cleaned up 'whoonga park' near the Durban University of Technology's City Campus. The area use to be full of people taking drugs and committing crime.

Buildings in the city had also been earmarked for renovation and refurbishment.

Last year, the city received R3.5 million when it won a greenest city award, beating Joburg and Cape Town.

The Mercury


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