Rates revolt looms over trash

2014-10-17 00:00

RESIDENTS of Mount Michael near Sweetwaters are still faced with the terrible stench from an illegal dump.

This is despite assurance from uMngeni Municipality that the mess was to be cleaned up a month ago.

A 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 recently. The illegal dumping zone covers about 400 metres of the plantation opposite Ridge and Highlander roads, off Sweetwaters Road.

Flies have infested the area and residents fear that it will only get worse as summer progresses. Residents who spoke to The Witness said the mess has been there for months. Concerned resident Ian Cliff said, “We are just not getting services for the rates we pay the municipality. We are in no-man’s land because municipal staff only service Hilton.”

Cliff said, “It is things like illegal dumping that lead to outbreaks of 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.

“To date, the uMngeni Municipality have fail on their promise to clean up the area and the [filth] continues to pile up,” he said. Cliff said, “Perhaps the only way the residents can get the municipality’s attention is by not paying rates or blockading roads. It seems to work around the rest of South Africa.”

uMngeni Municipality spokesperson Thando Mgaga said, “The refuse collection unit in our municipality has undertaken regular clearing of illegally dumped items at the said site as part of the overall collection of refuse in the area.”

He said their technical services department has been investigating the source of the illegal dumping. He warned hefty fines will be imposed against the perpetrator/s.

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