|19 July 2023
Dear Mayor Swart,
Suspension of Bitou’s Recycling Service.
Will you please provide answers to the following:
- Bitou’s 17.2% waste removal tariff went into effect this month and now you have announced there will be no recycling service until October or later. The tariff increase should be deferred until recycling service is restored.
- We are told that 8% of that tariff increase is being withheld for future landfill rehabilitation. Who is holding it — Bitou or GRDM? Is it ring-fenced? You will understand our concern, especially since you acknowledged the recent plundering of millions from the Bitou Capital Reserve Fund, as well as the corruption allegations against the Garden Route District Municipality. We don’t see any other neighborbouring towns withholding provisional funds.
- Other cities’ waste/sewerage tariff increases pale in comparison to Bitou’s. As per our previous request, please show us the breakdown of how the refuse removal budget will be spent. Bitou’s refuse tariff is more than double that of Knysna’s, and its sanitation tariff more than triple. It would appear there is room for efficiency and zero-based budgeting.
Refuse tariff (VAT inclusive) pa
Bitou R4,672 17.2% increase Knysna R1,844 6.0% increase
Sanitation (VAT inclusive) pa
Bitou R7,339 6.8% increase Knysna R2,194 5.3% increase
We await your response to when the recycling service will be resumed, and what the additional cost will be as a result of the tender fiasco.
The information in this communication reflects our best understanding based on the information available to us. Please advise if any inaccuracies or misinterpretations exist.
9 July 2023
Mayor Dave Swart
Dear Mayor Swart,
The Recycling Tender Refers.
We note your communication referencing the “operational challenges concerning recycling beyond the control of Bitou.” We are aware that the recycling tender terminated end of June, and to our knowledge, a new tender has not yet been advertised. This raises a number of concerns, especially considering the significant increase in solid waste tariffs effective 1 July and the impact that no recycling will have on waste volumes and transport costs. We would very much appreciate getting clarity on the following questions:
1. Why was the new tender not advertised and awarded in time to ensure continuity of recycling from 1 July? We have been discussing this issue with Municipal officials since last year.
2. Who is responsible for this oversight and what remedies are in place to ensure that critical tenders are renewed timeously in future?
3. When do you expect to advertise and implement the new tender? Will there be temporary recycling service in the interim, or will all recyclable waste be mixed with the general waste and be transported to Mossel Bay?
4. What impact will lack of recycling have on solid waste volumes and additional costs incurred in transportation of these volumes?
5. Why do you claim this was “beyond the control of Bitou?” Is there something that we are unaware of? Are there other critical tenders that have or are likely to also lapse before they can be renewed?