The taxi driver who swapped a steering wheel for a shovel

A part-time taxi driver has taken it upon himself to clean a filthy kasi street with vigour and pride

Yamkela Ncume couldn’t stand the accumulating filth and stagnant grey water in Dunoon’s Gousbloom Street, so he started cleaning it up himself. Armed with a rake and a shovel, and sometimes using his bare hands, he regularly removes all domestic refuse and trash from the street. Residents have praised him for his selflessness.

When GroundUp visited the area on 10 April, Ncume was hard at work.

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“I love my community and I want to keep our street and environment clean. Refuse accumulates very quickly here because of overcrowding and we have young children constantly playing in the street. If we wait for authorities to come clean for us, kids will pick up germs,” he said.

Nokuphuwa Pitane, a mother of two, praised Ncume, saying: “He is doing the right thing. Many young people of his age are on drugs but he isn’t. He cares about our hygiene and my only wish is for him to get a permanent job.”

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City of Cape Town spokesperson Hayley van der Woude said the city’s resources for cleaning were stretched and that commercial areas and main thoroughfares were prioritised. She applauded Ncume’s initiative and said everyone is responsible for keeping their areas clean.

“The city provides a highly reliable refuse collection service, as well as 25 drop-off sites where residents can dispose of up to three 1,5 ton bakkie loads of waste per day for free. Residents are encouraged to report illegal dumping to the City on 0860 103 089,” she said.

-WestCape News for GroundUp