Eastridge dumping problem

UNATHI OBOSE

Concerned Eastridge residents are urging people to stop dumping rubbish on an open ground between Leadwood and Marula streets in the area.

They said the field is reserved for recreation for children.

“Since I moved here in 1981, my neighbours and I used to clean the field together for the children in the community,” said 71-year-old Beatty Roberts.

“The problem is that some people dump rubbish and rubble on the field at night. The City of Cape Town collects the rubbish every Tuesday, but the following morning you will find rubbish dumped there again.”

She said some residents don’t take out their bins when the City’s solid waste trucks collect them.

“The other night I found one of my neighbours throwing the contents of her bin there. I asked her to collect it,” she said.

Ms Roberts said her concern is for the children who use the field as a playground. “My husband and I don’t have children or grandchildren living with us but my concern is the other children who play soccer there because I have a passion for children. The City put a notice board that says ‘no dumping’ but still people don’t take notice of it,” said Ms Roberts.

She appealed to the City to be tough with people discarding rubbish on public spaces.

Pastor Michael Brown also said that people dump their rubbish at night. “We talk to the residents not to dump dirt on the field but the next morning we see rubbish. Sometimes I pick up the papers myself. This is our area and we need to keep it clean,” he said.

Wilhelmina Williams, 75, urged the City to maintain the open field. “Our area is dirty because of people who don’t care about their children’s wellbeing. I wish the City can plant grass and flowers just to keep it evergreen,” said Ms Williams.

Ms Roberts said she felt she cannot stand by while children are suffering. “I’m a health committee member and I cannot just sit back. Some children have sores on their heads because of the dirt and when it’s windy the rubbish comes to our yards and it stinks,” said Ms Roberts.

The City’s mayoral committee member for utility services, Ernest Sonnenberg, said the illegal dumping on public spaces carries a fine of up to R5 000 depending on the extent of the dumping.

“The issuing of fines requires that residents report illegal dumpers to either the South African Police Service or the City’s call centre preferably with a photograph of the incident as well as the vehicle registration,” explained Mr Sonnenberg.

He added that an amendment to the Integrated Waste Management By-law will allow the City to come down harder on illegal dumpers by seizing and impounding their vehicles. “This is the latest move to strengthen the City’s fight against the practice which currently costs ratepayers hundreds of millions of rands annually.”

Mr Sonnenberg said the support of Cape Town’s residents is crucial in identifying offenders and making sure that they are brought to book.

Illegal dumping can be reported to the City’s call centre on 0860 103 089.