The Rustenburg Local Municipality’s Public Safety Directorate, kick-started its weekend with the continuation of the Safe and Clean City campaign, which is in-line with one of Rustenburg’s key priorities – Maintain clean, green, safe and healthy municipal environment for all residents. Other strategic stakeholders to the campaign included the Hawkers Forum and the taxi association both operating from the City’s transport hub. Other Directorates included the Local Economic Development which is key to facilitating small-to-large scale economic activities in the City including the informal business sector, Community Development central to the campaign, in ensuring that Rustenburg is kept clean for all and the Roads and Transport, which has a solid working relation with the taxi industry as the lead in road infrastructure maintenance.
The campaign focused on the following key areas:
- Environmental Awareness – by interacting with members of the public and educating them about the best methodologies for waste management and environmental conservation. This is critical as the City, has in the recent weeks, been inundated with calls of blocked storm-water channels as well as sewer lines, where foreign objects were found to be causing the recorded incidents of blockages due to the discarding of such objects in the sewer and storm-water networks.
- De-bushing of public spaces and pedestrian walk-ways – the City has identified some of the areas as crime-hotspots where petty crimes take places, as rogue elements take advantage of reduced visibility due to overgrown grasslands. It is in these areas, where numerous people were caught in the act of illegal dumping and subsequently fined in line with the City’s by-laws.
- Removal of illegal dumpsites – the operation, also focused on the complete eradication of emerging illegal dumping sites, which continue to pose serious health risks to nearby residents, due to the nature of materials which are dumped, some of which need to be disposed in an environmentally sensitive manner far away from residential areas.
- Patching of potholes – The City has in its recently approved adjustment budget set aside a sizeable amount of the expenditure to deal with the City’s road network maintenance to ensure user-friendliness for the benefit of both commercial and noncommercial motorists.
The City’s leadership remains concerned about the number of people who have expressed desire to trade in Rustenburg’s CBD but have disregarded the applicable by-laws governing informal trading. Member of the Mayoral Committee on Public Safety Councillor Victoria Makhaula, said residents and in particular informal trader need to understand that by-laws are approved by Council as a measure of ensuring law and order “I want to urge our residents to be aware that Council continues to support the informal traders, however it is not correct for people to come into Rustenburg and put up stalls everywhere, without the necessary consent. It is further unfair to those who have acquired their permits legally and who continue to comply. As such, our appeal is that our residents visit our offices, to get the necessary paperwork to be able to trade freely” said Makhaula.
Previously the RLM has received complaints from pedestrians and businesses alike about informal traders who put on busy side-walks and further congesting pedestrian traffic and making it difficult for shoppers to move in-between shops with ease particularly at month-end. The Public Safety officers, have issued section 56 notices, to the informal traders who were found in Rustenburg East, between Friday and Saturday with imminent fines should they be found to be in contravention of the applicable by-laws in future.
Residents are encouraged to at all material times, comply with the alert level regulations, which require compliance to gathering and enforcement of a curfew which is intended to control movement of persons between midnight and 04:00 am. Any person found to be in contravention of the regulations, may be liable to pay a fine and or face imprisonment.