Illegal dumping swamps Nelson Mandela Bay

“I challenge you to show me open spaces without heaps of garbage in our townships,” says Gqeberha resident

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Photo of burning rubbish

Residents burn rubbish outside the Motherwell NU8 clinic. Photos: Joseph Chirume

An ever-increasing number of illegal dump sites that are not getting cleared by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is making life unpleasant for people living in the townships of Gqeberha. It may also be impacting their health.

GroundUp visited Motherwell, Kamvelihle, Wells Estate, and Kuyga, and found garbage blowing about the streets and a large number of illegal dump sites.

“I challenge you to show me open spaces without heaps of garbage in our townships,” Nontutuzela Maki of NU1 Motherwell told GroundUp.

“Every open space has been filled with garbage,” said Sonwabo Tshenge, who lives close to the NU8 Motherwell clinic.

He said patients coming to the clinic must endure a terrible stench from the rotting rubbish.

“People are not even afraid to dump their waste in full view of patients and passing motorists,” said Tshenge.

“The municipality should do like they once did in the past when they formalised illegal dumping sites by fencing them and placing skip bins there. They also had a regular collection timetable. It’s no longer happening and those skip bins have vanished.”

A nurse at the clinic said people burn the garbage and the toxic smoke affected patients they are trying to treat in the clinic. “We have no other choice but to close all windows to avoid the smoke,” she said.

Residents are also worried about the health risks that accompanied rubbish being burnt on the street.

In NU10 Motherwell at the Uphilo/Imphilo Development Centre, a non-profit organisation that helps learners with their homework, community development officer Ntombizandile Ntingo said residents dump their garbage right on the facility’s doorstep.

“We appeal to the municipality to put a skip bin and a sign post that discourages dumping.”

Charmaine Peters, of Wells Estate, said residents in her area do not have wheelie bins or refuse bags. They resort to illegal dumping.

Municipality spokesperson Mamela Ndamase said there are 18 formal drop-off sites and two landfill sites in the metro, and refuse collection occurs weekly.

She said there was an area-based schedule for clearing illegal dumps, but illegal dumping is “an ongoing problem”.

Ndamase said some residents fail to put their bins out early enough and they miss the waste collection trucks. They then dump illegally.

She said the municipality was unable to clear all illegal sites on a weekly basis as it was costly and would disrupt the scheduled service.

A resident openly dumping garbage outside the Uphilo-Impilo Development Centre in NU10, Motherwell, Nelson Mandela Bay.

TOPICS:  Sanitation

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