Call to reduce dumping

A Lentegeur councillor says the City’s annual budget of clearing illegal dumping hotspots of approximately R110 million to R120 million could be better spent on housing.

Goawa Timm, councillor for Ward 76, said within hours of having an area cleared people were dumping again.

“We report the dumping and we get officials to clean up but if people stopped littering there would be no need for money to be spent unnecessarily on clearing waste.”

Ms Timm said people were demanding housing but if everyone stopped littering and dumping there would be no need for a budget to clear illegal dumping.

“It is a lot of money and takes a lot of time and effort to clear an area, which has just been cleaned again.”

Just last week council approved the new Human Settlements Strategy, based on greater partnerships and innovation to tackle the affordable housing challenges in Cape Town, with various key City departments and private sector stakeholders.

They are particularly looking at accommodating applicants earning less than R22 000 a month.

Malusi Booi, mayoral committee member for human settlements, said the strategy is for all in Cape Town.

He said affordable housing, and incrementally enhancing affordable accommodation and basic services, must become a greater part of the mainstream conversation.

“It is aimed at enabling greater partnership, collaboration, inclusivity and innovation in the human settlements sphere, especially private sector support and the development of incentives and mechanisms to change how we do things.”

Mr Booi said Cape Town had many unique challenges, including suitable land availability and diminishing national grant funding for housing.

Wolfgat Sub-council chairman Solomon Philander, and councillor for Ward 79, said: “We have a lot of dumping in our community and the behaviour of our people is of such a nature that we can’t even minimise or eradicate the dumping in our area.”

He was referring to the City’s Health Department Area South Mitchell’s Plain service delivery report for July to December 2020, specifically to the vector control including rodents and block baiting tabled in last month’s sub-council meeting.

According to the report, routine inspections of high risk areas for potential rodent breeding were conducted and block baiting stations were serviced to abate any potential rodent nuisance.

The block baiting stations are located in informal settlements, at shopping complexes, municipal buildings, in the industrial area and at the public transport interchanges, that is taxi ranks and bus terminals and in hotspots areas in the formal housing areas.

“Vectors are responsible for carrying various illnesses from one place to the other, therefore their control and management is important,” read the report.

The City’s Environmental Health Department for the area exceeded its target of 3 000 bait stations serviced by more than 90%. A total of 5 704 bait stations were serviced.

Anzil Sampson, head of Environmental Health, said an inter-departmental approach was needed to clear the waste to ensure that there would be minimal food for rodents to feed on.

He said if the solid waste department cleared the area they could decrease block baiting.

“I would like to see the numbers or the targets being reduced instead of there being an increase in terms of the vector issue,” he said.

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for water and waste, said the City’s Solid Waste Department conducts cleaning in the area around the sports field every alternate week, for waste that can be placed in refuse bags. “Clearing bulkier waste requires specialised equipment for mechanical clearing, and this is scheduled to take place twice a year, and dependent on the availability of resources,” she said.

Ms Limberg said they have sustained ongoing campaigns to raise awareness of the damaging consequences of illegal dumping.

“The only way in which this problem can ever be resolved for good is if residents call each other out when they see or hear of this practice taking place, and let others know that it won’t be tolerated by the broader community,” she said.

Any person found to be dumping illegally is issued with a Section 56 written notice, which carries a fine of up to R5 000 and the dumper may have his or her vehicle impounded.

Ms Limberg said the City would continue to drive education and awareness efforts about illegal dumping, like the “Bin it, Don’t Block it” campaign.

Residents who know who is dumping can anonymously provide the relevant information to the City’s Solid Waste By-Law enforcement Unit.

Record the culprit’s vehicle registration number and or if they can identify him or her call 021 444 6231, 021 444 6233 or email solidwaste.bylaw@capetown.gov.za

Ms Limberg called on residents to report these incidents as soon as they occur to ensure a quicker response. This can be done online www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests; email wastewise@capetown.gov.za; SMS 31373 (maximum 160 characters. Standard rates apply); call 0860 103 089; or visit a City walk-in centre.