WOONGA NEST GETS A NEW HYGIENIC LOOK
By: Zinhle Mngadi
Blue lights’ flooded Maydon and Khuzimpi Shezi Road Friday, as the police, Durban Solid Waste and eThekwini Municipality workers embarked on a clean-up of the ‘woonga nest’ which is feared for its homeless inhibitor’s.
The EThekwini Municipality began its initiative to clean up the city of its filth in targeted areas which had unbearable dirt and mess. This ‘Clean My City’ programme, chaired by Mayor James Nxumalo, was officially opened yesterday.
The programme continued Friday and it targeted the hotspot where hundreds of suspected homeless ‘woonga’ addicts call their home. In the morning, social services, solid waste, parks department and some volunteers raided the area to begin a comprehensive clean-up of the filthy place.
JournalismIziko news spotted Durban City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole, in his blue overalls and boots, sweating as he led the programme in the blazing sun. He told JournalismIziko News that the campaign aimed to eradicate uncleanliness in the city. In doing this, he said that the programme targeted hotspots of crime and uncleanliness within the city. “Warwick Junction, Albert Park, Mahatma Gandhi/Point area and Victoria Embankment are all targeted areas for this programme, said Sithole. “We will extend to the Phoenix, Inanda, Ntuzuma and Kwa-Mashu (PINK) in the aim to keep the city clean.”
He further added that “woonga” park needs more than just a physical clean-up but that the municipality as a whole needs to work with social development to address the drug problem that causes the homeless to not have problem with the filth they live in.
Sabelo Mchunu (20) is a ‘woonga’ addict that lives in the park and says that life there is not pleasant but he’s addiction sustains him. He said that the clean-up will not make much of a difference to them as addicts. “The clean-up is ok but it doesn’t change much, it will still be the safe for us here,” says Mchunu.
Students from the Durban University of Technology (DUT), city campus, opposite the park say that they do not feel safe when walking to and from school. Addicts have often robbed them using knives to get a fix. Nana Zuke, a second year student at the DUT, is one of many students who have fallen victim to the ‘woonga’ attacks on her way to school. She told JournalismIziko that the municipality needs to do more to address the underlying problem. She said, “A small clean-up of the area won’t give those addicts a fix, therefore we will still become prey to them after this clean-up because the core issue of the addiction was not addressed.”