Vanguard and Welcome Estate Ratepayers and Civic Association condemns illegal dumping and vandalism within their precinct.This follows an incident where an unknown person dumped garden waste at the corner of First Street two weeks ago, and not far from this spot there is a broken fence that has also been recently damaged.The matter was reported to the local ward councillor Anthony Moses who, on Monday 8 April, immediately escalated it to the City’s department of waste. The garden waste was removed within a day (by Tuesday 9 April).According to reports the issue of illegal dumping in the area is an on-going battle, but is becoming worse with the “deliberate” vandalism. Tania Bosser, the chairperson of the ratepayers’ association says offenders operate after hours, making it difficult to identify or catch them. Bosser says the vandalism is equally alarming as it poses risks to residents.“From the beginning, we wanted to stop the trespassing and reckless driving by people who use the open field as a short-cut. The fence was installed late last year but has been damaged a couple of times already,” says Bosser.She says the problem could only be curbed through tight cooperation between the residents and the local stakeholders.Bosser also encourages them to take pride in their community and report any illegal acts such as dumping.“There is no easy solution to this problem as these acts are committed at random. The community has been encouraged to contact the City when dumping occurs on the number identified on the poster specifically at First Street.” Bosser says, should a perpetrator be caught they get fined more than R1 000 and is ordered “to clean up their mess.”Bosser says littering and vandalism is not only limited to their community but also affects multiple areas and is worsened by the outside traffic.Bosser calls on to residents to be part of the local organisation, especially the ratepayers’ association, saying cohesive organisation can help find areas of agreement “and help us speak with one strong voice on matters which affect us all.”She says they have worked hard to create a viable organisation whose voice will have an influence on matters which affect them. “We urge the residents to please complete the C3 forms with any issues pertaining to their property services, waste, water and electricity in order to forward to the councillor to expedite.”According to Bosser, issues affecting the community are communicated among the residents through a quarterly newsletter and meetings held on a regular basis.Moses confirms the reports. He says the ratepayers’ association works closely with his office as well as the local neighbourhood watch to create a holistic living environment. He says this is not always easy as there are few that fail to play their role and are even part of the illegal activities. Moses says his office visits the illegal dumping hotspots and social-ill affected areas to inspect and prevent the escalation of the incidents.He, however, says the issue of vandalism of the fence is of great concern as it costs the City a lot of money to fix.“A lot of money was spent in installing that fencing and it has been damaged over and over again. We just cannot keep on spending money on it, there are other things that need to be prioritised and we need the community to protect what has been provided for them,” Moses says.