ILLEGAL car washers should approach council so that they can be allocated open spaces from which to conduct their business without being harassed, Harare City Council has said.
Council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi in a statement last week said that illegal car washers should approach the council for proper spaces.
He was responding to a recent NewsDay article on the sprouting of illegal car washes in Harare’s Central Business District.
“Car washers are free to approach the city for allocation of proper sites to conduct their business,” Gwindi said.
“Council is aware of the need for car washers taking into consideration the number of vehicles in the city. But while that appreciation exists, it should not be taken as a licence to willy-nilly set up shop on every corner and available open space.”
He said activities of car washers were governed by legal statutes that include Acts of Parliament and council by-laws.
“The country and town planning Act stipulates that car washers should be on designated sites while the model building by-laws also give specifications on how the structures should be built,” he said.
“Each car wash should have what is called an interceptor that separates the oil sludge from the water. There should be proper discharge of the oils and other effluent.”
Gwindi said the reason why council did not allow illegal car washes was because the sites that they were using were not supported with the requisite infrastructure to cater for the effluent and its effects on the tarred roads and the environment.
“The message to all our beauty-loving residents is that they should shun illegal car washes and be seen to demand order and accountability. These car washes do not pay rates or rentals to council,” he said.
Gwindi added the illegal car washes contaminate the city’s water bodies through discharge of oils, grease, heavy metals, brake dust and other contaminants.
“Because their activities are not regulated by council it goes without saying that the cleaning chemicals or detergents are not checked on whether they meet minimum safety standards,” he said.