Dashiki | Piles of trash! Where is our national pride?

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Respect yourself by cleaning up, taking care of the environment and taking care of our streets. Photo: Supplied
Respect yourself by cleaning up, taking care of the environment and taking care of our streets. Photo: Supplied


Have you ever been driving behind someone and suddenly there’s a flurry of trash being flung out of the window of the car ahead of you? Plastic bottles, glass bottles, KFC boxes, plastic bags stuffed with rubbish; anything and everything tossed out on to the pavement.

Someone will clean it up, right? Someone else. Some unknown municipal worker is paid to sweep the streets and collect the detritus of your daily living, mostly because you’re a lazy, inconsiderate asshole who couldn’t be bothered to find a bin.

READ: 'An explosion of national pride'

I dream of the day I can pick up the trash and fling it back into said car, or the occupant’s lounge or garden.

I wish for all the neighbourhood rats to infest your space, your home. I wish for your trash to become the breeding ground for a plague of cockroaches that swarm your kitchen and drains and beds and living space.

To those who have no regard for the environment, and there are many who have more pressing issues, I imagine (such as hunger and homelessness), imagine that every space you move in belongs to you. That you own it; that it reflects you as a person; that you will receive visitors there; eat there and sleep there.

Now think again about throwing your trash anywhere you like.

Is that how you live at home? The lounge floor covered in rubbish and rats running everywhere?

If you don’t live like that, then why discard rubbish in the street? Where is the pride of living, pride in space? Pride in a clean home and space around you?

When did littering and illegal dumping become so acceptable?

Where I live, I am on the cusp of Yeoville and Bez Valley. Yeoville is a horror story of streets awash in plastic, paper, glass bottles and discarded food. In Bez Valley, there is a team of soccer players I see every day in the park, having to navigate rubbish dumped by households too lazy to dispose of it properly. I see rats running in and out of the piles. There are children there. These places are breeders of disease and they put everyone at risk.

READ: Pride Month | Why are we silent, rather than out and proud?

I feel it’s a reflection of our collective lack of national pride in the beauty of our asset which is South Africa. It’s truly as if we don’t give a damn.

Sure, we should lobby for more dustbins everywhere and trash tips where waste is properly disposed of and regularly serviced, and a city that cleans more efficiently – that’s what we pay rates and taxes for and why we have a municipal bill to pay.

But we also have a personal responsibility to not live like pigs, to care for our neighbourhood, to keep it clean and not descend into a pit of lawless dumping and waste disposal.

READ: The problem with pride

Please respect yourself by cleaning up, taking care of the environment and taking care of our streets. 


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