The Sunday News
Fairness Moyana in Hwange
HWANGE Local Board (HLB) has threatened to revoke operating licences of businesses that abscond from taking part in national clean-up exercises as it gets tough on dealing with littering.
The development comes as the Government is crafting a law to promulgate the National Clean-up programme into law to compel all local authorities and agencies to carry out the campaign.
President Mnangagwa declared that the first Friday of each month is a National Clean-Up Day while launching the campaign on 5 December 2018 hence taking a lead in solving the waste management challenge in the country.
In a public notice issued prior to the Provincial Clean-up exercise held earlier this month, the local authority called on residents and businesses to take the clean-up programme seriously while calling on councillors to lead in their respective wards.
“We urge the business community (shops and vendors) to close shop for an hour and take part in this initiative. In line with Government’s drive to promulgate the National Clean-up Programme into law, Hwange Local Board will consider revoking licenses of businesses that will deliberately fail to take part in this exercise. Councillors are expected to lead the exercise in their respective wards with focus being mainly on ‘red zone areas’,” reads part of the notice.
In an interview, HLB’s Acting Town Secretary, Mr Paulos Mabhureni said littering was a growing concern that council was struggling to deal with.
“The clean-up campaign is a requirement because it’s a programme that was declared by the President and it should be incorporated into their Solid Waste Management Plans. These (Solid Waste Management Plans) feed into our by-laws. It is worth noting that our licences are written that we reserve the right to revoke for those that flout the by-laws, thus those that fail to observe the National Clean-Up Day, will have contravened our policy and we have every right to penalise them in any way we deem necessary,” said Mr Mabhureni.
He said since businesses were major generators of waste the law required them to have their own Solid Waste Management plans as a mitigation tool.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to participate in the National Clean-Up Campaign. As council we believe it is the business communities that are the major generators of waste within the areas they operate from and as such they should also actively participate in this exercise.
At law, businesses should be having their own Solid Waste Management Plan, which will then feed into council’s Solid Waste Management Plan, thus they should abide by those plans.”
As part of efforts to deal with litter thrown off from moving vehicles which is a major polluter of roadsides, council introduced a by-law that penalises such behaviour.
The local authority has also made significant improvements in its refuse collection schedule which has seen a reduction in illegal dumpsites which was a huge challenge.
Mr Mabhureni said as part of improving sanitation in unserviced areas such as Empumalanga Phase 4, HLB had set aside funds for the installation of the entire water and sewer reticulation systems.
“In terms of sanitation almost 80 percent of our settlements have water and sewer reticulation systems save for those that are unserviced. However, council has made significant strides in improving sanitation in unserviced areas notably at Empumalanga Phase 4 where we have covered significant ground in connecting housing units to water. We have also budgeted for the installation of the entire sewer reticulation system in that settlement, which has more than 500 housing units.”