Tension mounts due to dumping

2019-07-11 06:00
Mzolisi Salman is standing in his yard looking at the rubble behind the communal toilets.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Mzolisi Salman is standing in his yard looking at the rubble behind the communal toilets.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Residents from Siyahlala and Siyanyanzela informal settlements in Philippi are in a bitter battle over rubbish piling up along Sheffield Road.

The two informal settlements are divided by Sheffield Road and tensions have been mounting over the illegal dumping of waste material.

Although Siyanyanzela has a shipping containers to dispose of all their waste, it is the illegal dumping outside that has fuelled the tensions.

It is alleged that Siyanyanzela residents illegally dump at Siyahlala even though they have their own dumping container.

Siyahlala resident Mzolisi Salman describes their living conditions as appalling. “We are in trouble because of our neighbours who are dumping the rubble and garbage behind our communal toilets,” he says.

Salman says they tried in vain to stop them and the rubble has been increasing for almost three months.

Although there are cleaners responsible for collecting rubbish in the area, he says they do not clean illegally dumped stuff. They only collect and pick up rubbish that is in plastic bags.

This, he says have led to the manifestation of rats and rodents in the area, making it difficult for everyone.

“We have a problem of rats roaming the area, especially at night,” says Salman.

He adds that at times they find dirty nappies and stray dogs often feast on them.

“It’s a mess here. Last week, we found a dog carcass,” he says.

One of the residents from Siyahlala, who only described herself as Neliswa, said they feel pity for their neighbours but they don’t have a choice.

“That shipping container for rubbish is too far from us. It’s better when we dump here even though we know it’s illegal,” said Neliswa.

Ward 80 councilor Nkululeko Mgolombane said he is aware of the rubble that is on Sheffield Road.

He described illegal dumping as a challenge for Philippi as a whole.

“We did raise the issue of illegal dumping in subcouncil early this year and they promised to respond to that in the coming meeting on 26 July,” said Mgolombane.

He said in Philippi there is no truck that is collecting rubble only people working as cleaners.

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