By Promise Mutunda
The energy crisis in the country has had its fair share of disappointment for commercial and private users and Zandspruit Informal Settlement has not been immune.
The challenge in community has been the illegal connections that residents have, and those law-abiding community members do get affected with the illegal connections when Eskom has to be called to fix the problems- those with illegal connection find it hard to report and their illegal status might be discovered – this unfortunately affects the rest of the consumers of the electricity.
Illegal dumping in Zandspruit informal settlement happens daily that one wonders whether the community leadership and residents will ever get rid of this bad habit.
Illegal dumping is the disposal of waste generated at one location and disposed of at another location without legal permission of the property owner or the City of Johannesburg, in violation of the public health by-laws – this includes the disposal of trash, tyres, garden refuse, builder’s rubble, furniture, appliances and other waste materials.
There are issues in the community of private companies coming to dump trees, old concrete and any wastes being cleaned from private households around Zandspruit into our community. During the week when most of the residents are at work, the community gets over 20 trucks dumping in the community.
Asked about some solutions the community might have: We need street and block committees; we need equipment for us to be visible to the community. The Ward 114 Councillor must deploy the committee members and must involve the community and come with solutions together. Feedback from the local police is not sufficient; hence people are reluctant to report cases for fear of being victimized.
The biggest dumping site in the area is at Mbela section where some community members are getting money from the truck-drivers that come to dump in Zandspruit, and that had to be stopped.
There is a direct link between illegal dumping and health. Illegal dumping sites are excellent breeding grounds for germs that cause numerous illnesses. Bottles and tins can cause cuts and bruises that do not heal. Certain foodstuffs become poisonous when left in the open – illegal dumping sites pose a fire hazard.
Bubonic plague and myrine typhus fever are transmitted from infected rats to humans by fleas. Domestic rodents can potentially spread salmonella that causes food poisoning through their droppings. Rodents cause damage by gnawing and burrowing. Report illegal dumping at Environmental Health @ 011-761 0206 or JMPD @ 011 – 490 1547.
The following fines apply for Illegal Dumping:
- Dumping by means of a vehicle –R1000,
- Dumping by means of a wheelbarrow –R500,
- Littering –R300.