Dumping harms wetland

2008-01-18 00:00

Wetland rehabilitation work done by Mondi and the Wildlife Society in Hilton is under threat from illegal dumping in the area.

Construction rubble and domestic and garden refuse is strewn across the conservation area, making it difficult to maintain the wetland. Mondi’s efforts to control weeds in the wetland are being impeded.

A Hilton resident was angered recently when he came across a pile of refuse in the area. Greg Budke said he was cycling along the wetland when he saw the rubbish.

“I noticed that a large pile of household garbage had recently been dumped,” said Budke. “This disgusting act of polluting our community area is made worse by the fact that this is a conservation area and is being turned into a rubbish dump by people who couldn’t care less.”

Infuriated, Budke dug into the garbage for evidence.

“I found many bank deposit slips in the name of Riaan Strydom and a cellphone number.”

The slips were dated June 2007, and other documents with Strydom’s name were also found. He delivered the evidence to The Witness.

The Witness contacted Strydom, but he said he left Pietermaritzburg in July 2007 when he sold his house. Strydom’s old house is at 21 Macleroy Road in Northern Park.

The new owner of the house, Zama Cele, a councillor in the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, denied having anything to do with the refuse.

“All my domestic refuse is collected by a municipal truck each week on Tuesdays. Hilton is too far that I can go there to throw away refuse,” she said.

Mondi forester Gareth Goosen said the problem is ongoing and Mondi environmental specialist Jackie Shuttleworth said dealing with the problem of illegal dumping is expensive.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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