Mt Michael residents raise hell over stink

2014-09-09 00:00

RESIDENTS of Mount Michael near Sweetwaters are fed up with illegal dumping in their area.

They allege that uMngeni Municipality has failed to intervene to clean up the mess.

However, the municipality’s spokesperson, Thando Mgaga, this week gave an assurance that action will be taken.

A terrible stench from an animal carcass and used disposable nappies that were dumped along Sweetwaters Road, greeted The Witness when visiting the area to investigate the complaint.

About 400 metres of the plantation has been used as a illegal dumping zone opposite Ridge and Highlander roads, situated off Sweetwaters Road.

Flies have also infested the area and residents fear that with the summer just around the corner their homes will be full of them. They say the dumping has been going on for months and attempts to get the municipality to respond have not yielded any results.

Concerned resident Ian Cliff said, “We are just not getting services for the rates we pay the municipality. We are found in no man’s land because municipal staff only service Hilton.”

He said services like cutting grass verges are cut off from the Sweetwaters off-ramp.

It is not known who is responsible for the illegal dumping.

Cliff said, “It is things like illegal dumping that leads to outbreaks like Ebola or infectious diseases.

“If we don’t nip this in the bud it could become an environmental catastrophe. If the rains come this [garbage] will be swept into the valleys.”

Cliff said because these are used disposable nappies among the filth the council must send in professionals to clear the mess to avoid staff getting sick.

Municipality spokesperson Mgaga said the waste management section within “our technical services department has been made aware of the illegal dumping matter”.

They had also been instructed to investigate the source of the nappies and other illegally dumped items and charge those responsible, he said.

Meanwhile, a plan has been developed to clear away the dumped items. The plan includes clearing the area completely of shrubs and trees, after which a “No Dumping” sign will be erected to avert further illegal dumping in future.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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