Tuesday, January 18, 2022

F’town council tackles waste collection woes

In an endeavor to combat waste collection challenges which are currently be-devilling Francistown, the city council has acquired three new refuse trucks at a cost of over P4 million. The trucks were supplied by a local motor dealer, Zambezi motors. Unveiling the trucks on Friday, Francistown mayor, James Kgalajwe said that in May 2013 the city council made a decision to suspend some of its budgeted items and diverted the funds towards the acquisition of the new trucks to help collect waste in the city. “From the past year to be specific 2013 to 2014 we have been having sleepless nights due to uncollected refuse in our homesteads and businesses.

The problem was shortage of resources and funds as you are aware that the country is still reeling from the effects of the global economic crisis. Most of our old trucks are down and only four of them have been in operation. The new trucks will ease the workload of these trucks and help the city council in its endeavor to collect waste. Shortage of trucks and the breakdown of some of the available trucks made us not to meet our waste collection demands,” he said. The unveiling ceremony was also attended by a delegation from the city of Genk in Belgium which was led by the mayor of that city, Wilm Dries.

Francistown and Genk have a twinning agreement spanning over nine years. Kgalajwe revealed that the combined cost of the trucks was P4 436, 371.75 with each truck costing about P1.4 million. He urged his staff to ensure that the new trucks are used properly so that they serve their purpose and improve waste collection in the city. He further pleaded with the councilors and the Ward Development Committees (WDC) to educate the public on waste collection.

“You should educate the community on waste collection. They should not put hard substances such as stones, wood or scrap metals in their waste receptacles because such a trend could damage the compaction mechanisms of the new trucks. We have also engaged three companies to augment council’s efforts to collect waste in different areas in the city. These companies are One time Enterprises, Hyprop(Pty) Ltd, General Waste and Phat Enterprises. The total cost for outsourcing these companies is around P3 million for one year,” Kgalajwe said. He further urged the directors of the outsourced companies to fulfill their obligations as per their contract with the city council.

He warned them against violating their contracts adding that the city council would not hesitate to terminate the contracts. “I plead with you as the directors of these companies that you should not fail government’s initiative to support local companies. If you violate this contract we will also not hesitate to terminate it,” warned Kgalajwe. He said that Francistown City Council will continue to come up with initiatives that will ensure that the city is clean as part of its quest to attract investors. He said that their waste collection strategy can help Francistown City Council achieve its set vision 2022 of transforming Francistown into an “Investment Center of Vibrancy”.

“Our waste collection strategy can help us reach our set vision 2022, of transforming Francistown into an investment centre,” he said Kgalajwe expressed gratitude over their twinning agreement with the city of Belgium saying that both cities are continuing to benefit immensely from each other. “Our twinning agreement with the City of Genk has benefited the people of both cities immensely. Among some of the distinguished projects we benefited from the City of Genk is a youth computer centre which is currently benefiting the youth in Francistown. For his part, the mayor of Genk, Wilm Dries lauded the city of Francistown for its endeavor in transforming Francistown into a clean city through its waste collection strategy. “I want to applaud the city of Francistown for acquiring the three new trucks to solve its waste collection problem. Waste collection is also an important move that we are undertaking in Genk.

I am also impressed by the fact that the city council has set itself a vision of transforming the city into an investment centre by 2022, therefore It is important for the city to embark on waste collection so that it can be able to attract investors,” he said. Dries said that they will continue to strengthen their relationship with the city of Francistown adding that they are currently discussing on how they can help Francistown city council come up with a waste recycle project. “We visited the landfill in Francistown and we are currently working together with the city mayor on how we can recycle waste and perhaps lure in investors into the city to do the recycling business,” he said in conclusion.


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