Opportunity for Sandton’s CEOs to attack health hazard on their doorstep 

By Alec Hogg

Presuming a fresh pair of eyes is useful, here’s what hit me when arriving back in SA yesterday. OR Tambo was humming, with the crush at passport control reflecting many more tourist flights from Asia than the West. Also got my first look at the Sandton skyline’s newest additions, the magnificently designed Sasol and Discovery head offices. Neither would be out of place in London.

File photo: Solar power geysers to heat hot water sit on the roofs of residential shack in the Alexandra township outside Johannesburg, South Africa. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

On the downside, the lines of able bodied men at roadsides hoping for piecework have grown since my last visit. Also, the difference between Sandton and nearby Alexandra township is even more stark.

Alex’s main artery has literally become a rubbish dump with refuse piled high on both sides of the road and down the middle. The accumulation of refuse is so bad that in places two lanes are cut to one. Found nothing online about waste collectors striking, or a protest action that trashed the place. Presumably it’s the result of a fly tipping epidemic.

It’s bizarre to see this disease-breeding paradise hardly a stone’s throw from the richest square mile in Africa. Ironic, too, that while Sandton’s CEOs make a great deal of fuss about their annual sleep-over with the homeless, none has recognised this ever present opportunity to tackle the health hazard on their doorstep. Opportunity knocks?

 

Here’s the official response from City of Johannesburg: