The Leadwood community leaders in Eastridge are calling for help to clean up the serial dumping in their neighbourhood.
Community leader Beaty Roberts said she has had many complaints from the community about the dumping on the Leadwood field and adjacent fields. It has become a problem and is affecting children’s health, she said.
“Children make use of this field a lot. During the day they are always playing on the field. We worry as parents and community members as they may catch germs playing in the dump. Covid-19 is a serious problem and we have to keep everyone safe,” she said.
Ms Roberts told the Plainsman that there is a strong stench from the dumping areas, and they have witnessed rats coming from the area too, she said.
“We beg with those who dump to not dump on the field and the adjacent fields. It is not a nice sight and we really want to keep the space as clean as we can,” said Ms Roberts.
Community member, Kathleen van Der Meulen, said she prefers the children to play on the field than in the streets.
“Covid-19 is here. The third wave is approaching us. The children may catch the virus or be the carriers of it. We must be careful and cautious with our children and their safety. The dumping contributes to our worry for our children,” said Ms Van Der Meulen.
Ms Van Der Meulen said herself, Ms Roberts and community member Rahmat Jaffer have taken the initiative to clean the fields because it has become worse. They take turns to clean the fields about thrice a week, she said.
“Some days Ms Roberts has to pay someone to help with cleaning the field and dumping it at the dump sites,” said Ms Van Der Meulen.
“It’s so nice to live here, the only problem is the dumping and dirt on the fields,” said Ms Roberts.
Ms Roberts said the City of Cape Town’s council had cleaned the field before but people would dump even if the area was cleaned before.
Ms Roberts is awaiting for the City to assist her.
Sub-council 12 chairperson, Solomon Philander, said the City has a once weekly collection of refuse to all households in the ward. Account holders pay monthly for the collection.
“To top it up, locally we have a drop-off facility off Spine Road between Strandfontein and Rocklands. This service is free. The City spends millions on clearing of dumping. It cannot be that this is only the City’s problem. I commend people like Ms Roberts and others who are part of the solution to clean and want to prevent dumping. I want to encourage the community to report the dumpers to the City’s waste management,” said Mr Philander.
They can also report a service request to the City and follow up with the reference number should the service not be delivered.
“Illegal dumping attracts rats which cause diseases and is made worse by stray dogs. Litter also blocks our storm drains causing overflows of water and water borne diseases.
“It also looks messy and makes for unhappy and unhealthy communities,” said Mr Philander.
Litter also ends up in rivers, the sea and affects the harbour, beaches, fish and other animals. Rats can occur in dense human settlements where there is a steady supply of waste and rubbish and they live in blocked stormwater drains, he said.
Informants would be required to submit evidence, including sworn affidavits, photographs or video footage as well as clear identification of vehicles and or persons involved in dumping.
“We need everyone’s co-operation if we are to make progress possible together and keep our communities clean and healthy,” said Mr Philander.
Put litter in the bins on the road – do not drop litter while walking or driving.
Leave waste for collection in bags on the roads on collection days and do not leave rubbish on the roads after the trucks have gone, he said.
Look out for and report illegal dumping on the City’s Customer Care Line on 0860 103 089, via email at Wastewise@capetown.gov.za or during office hours on 021 400 6157.