The settlement has 17 500 housing units and is “characterised by a number of socio-economic challenges”, not least of which is illegal dumping, MMC for environment and infrastructure services Matshidiso Mfikoe said in a statement.
“The persistent illegal dumping in Zandspruit has led to environmental degradation, the spread of diseases and feelings of hopelessness and despair among residents.”
The clean-up initiative, part of the Developmental Service Delivery Model (DSDM) initiated by Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau in 2013, included four compactors, 16 front loaders, 1 000 bags and 5 200 city employees deployed to clean the area, together with Zandspruit residents, Mfikoe said.
The decision came after a visit by city officials to the settlement on January 28, during which a number of socio-economic problemms were noted.
Six days later, a section of Beyers Naude Drive near Honeydew was closed off by Johannesburg Metro police as residents blocked the road and threw stones at cars demanding access to basic services.
Mfikoe said in her opening address to residents on Saturday that even though Pikitup had dedicated significant resources and implemented a five-day collection regime in the area, a fresh approach, involving the community itself, was needed.
Hence the DSDM, which aims to change attitude and behaviour towards recycling and illegal dumping and to instill pride in residents when it comes to their environment, among other objectives. – Staff reporter.