A pile of waste in a resident’s yard as a result of illegal dumping which is claimed to have been there for more than five years, is a concern for community members in Bhongweni, Mlungisi.
Xoliswa Feni, whose shack is situated in the yard – now a dump site – said community members used her unfenced yard to dump their refuse. “There are only two of us living in this space, it is highly unlikely that we would have this amount of waste. People from other areas come and dump here. Some of us have medical conditions. This is not good for our health,” she said.
Speaking to The Rep, resident Linda James said the pile of waste dispersed to households and the surrounding environment whenever there was wind. He said this was a health risk for people living in the area. “There are viruses like Covid-19. This rubbish can negatively affect our health and we are exposed to illnesses. It has been here for more than five years. Our councillor (Mncedisi Mbengo) comes, piles it up and takes pictures without clearing it. The municipality needs to intervene.”
The Rep reported (Cogta MEC visits Enoch Mgijima for cleaning campaign, September 25) that the provincial department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) recently launched its cleaning campaign for municipalities in Enoch Mgijima where MEC Xolile Nqatha said the campaign was aimed at encouraging residents to maintain a clean environment by preventing illegal dumping.
“Eastern Cape towns are infested with litter. Cogta will bring back the Vuna Awards whereby municipalities will compete on cleanliness. Covid-19 has made us realise the importance of good hygiene, where people are required to wash their hands, sanitise and wear masks,” said Nqatha.
Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality spokesperson Lonwabo Kowa indicated that councillor Mbengo had reported the problem, indicating that due to a shortage of trucks it had not yet been addressed. “The municipality has a problem with irresponsible dumping where waste is dropped anywhere. Ward councillors, including councillor Mbengo, have played their role in advocating against this behaviour, but there has been no significant change. Campaigns to eradicate illegal dumping have been held by the municipality, only for communities to dump again. There have been other illegal dumping sites reported and they will also be addressed,” said Kowa.