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Enough with illegal dumping in our communities!

By Mzukona Mantshontsho

A National Lockdown started on Thursday 26 March 2020 at midnight announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

We became meticulous about washing our hands, avoiding handshakes, boosting our immune systems by eating well, minimising unnecessary stress and getting enough exercise and fresh air. We have a plan if we get sick: We know where to go, who to contact and how to care for ourselves.

Why are we not doing the same with Illegal Dumping?

Illegal dumping in Cosmo City happens on a daily basis 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.

We recently spoke randomly to ward 100 community members about their thoughts and feelings on dumping in Cosmo City. “We have issues in the community of individuals dumping any wastes being cleaned from private households around Cosmo City into our community,” they said.

Asked about some solutions they had in mind, they said: “We need street and block committees; we need equipment for the street and block committees to be visible to the community.

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.

I wonder how much we paying for this TLB to clean up after Illegal Dumping?