Illegal dumping remains a problem

2020-02-04 06:00
Public spaces across Cape Town are littered with debris and the City hopes to address this R350 million issue.          PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Public spaces across Cape Town are littered with debris and the City hopes to address this R350 million issue. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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While safety and security remain a challenge across the Cape Flats, Gerry Gordon, councillor for ward 67, says there is another prevailing concern residents should take note of to improve their surroundings.

Waste managementCommunities experience a very high percentage of dumping, she says, which is exacerbated by the influx of backyard dwellers.

“Residents are issued one bin. But then they take on more people in their backyards without applying for another bin.

“Some ratepayers have three or four people renting space and still only one bin. When the bin is full, people sometimes go to any open space and dump it.”

City-wide dumping is a major problem. Mayor Dan Plato issued several warnings last year to people who got rid of waste in public spaces.

Dumping on any public land is illegal and an offence, warns the City in a statement.

It reads: “If you are found guilty of dumping illegally, you could be fined between R500 and R10 000 and could get a prison sentence of six months to two years.”

According to the City, the cost of illegal dumping is about R350 million annually to remove and transport waste to waste sites.

While residents often dump broken beds and building debris, Gordon says there are other forms of dumping that severely affect the sewage systems.

“What comes out of the drains are cloths, spoons, forks and rags, which cause blockages. In one area, we removed a whole lot of rice.

“We don’t have a system that moves food things this way and other things that way. These things cause blockages down the line.”


In the months ahead, a number of projects aimed at the development of Seawinds and Pelican Park will be launched, says Gordon.

“There are a few things that are going to happen but we will only get to know the details later in the year. Seawinds and Vrygrond, as well as Lavender Hill, are known as the Murp (Mayoral Urban Regeneration Project) areas and there’s quite a bit of transformation that will take place in that area.”

Safety and security

Getting feet on the ground and eyes on the streets take priority for Gordon in her ward. She hopes to eliminate truancy through the implementation and development of several community-run initiatives.

“In the ward, we are looking at more neighbourhood watches and getting to start street committees, because people do want to see that there are more eyes and ears on the streets,” she says.

“They want to see that there are more vigilance and consciousness, especially when it comes to ensuring children stay in school.

“We also have the walking bus – and I have two; one in the Seawinds area and one in the Pelican Park area.”

She also hopes to engage with the residents on these and other issues and encourages them to write letters to her office or People’s Post, so that she can address them.

  • Letters can be emailed to or hand-delivered to the community centre on the corner of St Stephen and St Swithin Road in Seawinds.


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