Municipality begins clean-up work at toxic dumpsite

2015-06-30 10:37
Msunduzi started with the clean-up of Phayiphini's illegal dump yesterday morning.

Msunduzi started with the clean-up of Phayiphini's illegal dump yesterday morning. (Chelsea Pieterse)

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FOLLOWING the exposé of the massive illegal dumping at Phayipini near Prestbury in The Witness yesterday, the clean-up of the site was already under way yesterday.

Two municipal trucks began clearing rubbish from the illegal site which is a major health and environmental concern. Besides rotting animals, food and construction rubble, people have also been dumping fibrous asbestos at the site on the banks of a catchment area for one of Ashdown River’s main tributaries.

Organisations and companies such as Duzi-uMgeni Conservation Trust (Duct), groundWork and waste management group EnviroServ have all condemned the illegal dumping of asbestos and general waste, saying it was a major health concern to residents in and around the area.

Residents whose doorsteps were right at the foot of the illegal dumpsite said not only were they at risk from diseases, but there were also fires that are often started in the illegal dump that could burn their homes down.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said they would be prosecuting those who continued to dump their waste at the site.

“We have sent our trucks to remove the rubbish that is on top, and also requested the peace officers to monitor the area on regular intervals, with the view of prosecuting offenders,” Madonda said.

Duct junior soil erosion and rehabilitation specialist Sanele Vilakazi said Duct was in correspondence with Msunduzi Municipality’s community services and development division as well as EnviroServ about helping to remove the hazardous waste from the illegal site.

“Duct has offered its assistance in any way, shape or form in having the matter quickly attended to and we’ll most definitely closely follow up on developments surrounding the matter with regular surveillance monitoring of the site,” said Vilakazi.

In the meantime, residents are also doing their bit to monitor those who continue to dump their waste illegally by taking down their number plates.

A resident, who would not be named, produced a book in which he has written dates, times and number plates of vehicles coming into the site to dump their waste in the hopes of the offenders being prosecuted

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  illegal dump

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