The streets of Grahamstown erupted into chaos yesterday when striking municipal workers left a trail of rubbish in their wake. But late afternoon two groups got together to clean up.
The first group, made up of people from three local businesses, started at lunch time and hired casual workers to clean up High Street. The second group, both residents and business people, started volunteering at four o’clock in the afternoon.
"There are lots of visitors coming here and they should get the right impression of the town," said a business owner in High Street.
The group of volunteers assembled at the Drostdy Arch in Somerset Street and started cleaning High Street all the way up to the Cathedral.
A business owner in High Street who was part of the clean up said, "I will be sharing costs to pay the casual workers with the other businesses who are part of this clean up."
<strong> Motive behind operation </strong>
When asked why he decided to join in the clean-up, he said, "The garbage is obstructing the flow of traffic and the opening of the bags created a huge stench of rotten garbage making it a health hazard." One of the businesses brought its own employees to help with the clean up.
The organiser of the clean up said, "We are not against the strike, we are just taking pride in our city."
He also warned his team to realise that municipal workers may approach them. "Do not get into confrontational situations, if someone confronts you back off.”
One of the volunteers said, "The town is not a dustbin, we are working here to set an example."
Businesses in Grahamstown as well as individuals joined in the cleaning up and they used their vehicles to take the rubbish to the municipal dump site. The organiser said, "We are planning to go to the suburbs as well since bags of garbage are piling up there too."