Dumping raises concerns

2018-05-29 06:00

Rampant illegal dumping has residents in Salt River and Woodstock concerned­.

The situation is so serious, a Woodstock community organisation is willing to pay a R500 reward to any resident who reports an incidence of illegal dumping that results in an arrest and a conviction.

Meanwhile, ward 115 councillor, Dave Bryant, has lashed out at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), blaming the agency for the problem in Salt River­. In a strongly worded media statement, Bryant accuses Prasa of failing to do its job of cleaning and maintaining various sites in the suburb, particularly the local train station.

“(Prasa) must act with urgency to resolve unhygienic conditions at Salt River Station,” says Bryant.

He says he has been receiving numerous complaints over the past six months “about the rampant levels of dumping and unhygienic conditions on a number of sites in Salt River currently managed by (Prasa)”.

He says constant contact with the City of Cape Town’s solid waste enforcement teams and the Environmental Health Department has not yielded a positive response from Prasa. He cites two notices that have been served on the agency but says despite repeated assurances, the area grows filthier by the day.

“It is high time that Prasa step up to the plate and do their bit to clean and maintain these sites, as well as other sites in the Woodstock and Salt River areas that fall under their jurisdiction. It is not fair for the City officials to have to constantly spend their time reminding Prasa to do their job,” Bryant asserts.

When contacted, a Prasa senior official assured People’s Post that regional manager, Kaparo Molefi, would respond to questions. Molefi had not responded by the time of going to press.

The Woodstock Improvement District (WID) says illegal dumping of waste is a big issue in the suburb and in an attempt to curb the problem, the organisation is willing to give a reward to anyone who provides a tip-off that leads to the conviction of a perpetrator. “Woodstock residents are struggling under the weight of waste. We are trying our best to keep up with the demand but it is an uphill battle,” reads the WID’s blog post.

The WID says not only is rubbish being dumped, but also rubble. The organisation says the practice costs Cape Town taxpayers millions of rand and compromises its cleaners’ efficiency.

WID operations manager, John Julies, says illegal dumping gives him and his colleagues less time to clean the main roads.

“In order to deal with the problem correctly, our WID cleaning team will pick it up, take it to get weighed on the weighbridge in Tide Street and transport it to the dumpsite – again, wasting ratepayers’ valuable money and the WID cleaning services’ valuable time.

“Frustration arises because of the fact that residents have bins, but still dump their rubbish in the street and this contributes to up to 90% of the dumping in Woodstock,” says Julies.

According to the WID, illegal dumping affects businesses and ratepayers lose valuable money as it is expensive to have to constantly remove rubble.

“If not dealt with almost immediately, the wind carries waste into drain systems, creating blockages and water wastage in the area. This in turn, causes more problems as water wastage is, of course, no small issue in Cape Town.” It also poses health risks as was the case when a three-year-old boy lost his life on 22 April 2013 after coming into contact with illegally dumped toxic waste in Delft. “Although the waste found in Woodstock is not predominantly toxic, it does present real health risks. This is possible especially to children who attend schools in the area, as well as being the breeding ground for disease.”

According to WID, reporting illegal dumping to the organisation by completing a C3 form is the solution and this would allow for a public record of offences to be kept. The problem appears to have spilled over to Rondebosch as the Groote Schuur Community Improvement District (GSCID) posted on their Facebook page photographs of refuse dumped in the vicinity of Rondebosch Station. The Straatwerk cleaning squad cleaned the area.

The WID pleads with local residents report illegal dumping and properly discard of rubbish and encourage others to do the same and make for a cleaner, safer society to benefit all residents and business owners­.

V Call the WID control room on 021 462 1205 to report a dumping incident.

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