House in Booysens surrounded by garbage

BAD SMELL: The dump that makes it hard for a resident to eat or sleep freely in her home. Photo: Sibonelo Mtshali.

A FOUL smell and flies have been a constant problem for a resident in Booysens informal settlement ever since people started using a woman’s home as a dumping place.

A resident, who wished not to be named, said people dump all sort of waste and garbage just right next to her one-roomed shack. The smell that comes from the garbage makes it hard for her and family to eat or even sleep.

She told COURIER that she tried telling people that they shouldn’t throw garbage in front of her home several times. But people come at night and dump.

“Used tissues, tins, plastic, boxes, rotten food and dead dogs is what I have to deal with every day. This is not a life one should be living. I have children who live with me and this is not good for them. I used to have a tuck-shop, but because of this filth, nobody wants to buy from me. I have no one to turn to. I have to trust and hope that people stop throwing things here,” said the resident.

The resident claims that she has to clean out the waste and garbage dumped by others on a weekly basis.

COURIER was informed that this is not the only home around the settlement that is plagued by other people dumping their garbage. About three other homes are also affected by this problem.

Another resident said, “It’s not a good thing for people to dump waste at someone else’s home. We as the community of the settlement should come up with a plan to solve this.”

Tau Mpoko, one of the community leaders said, “If people can be given plastic bags it would be much better, but that does not mean people should throw garbage at someone else’s home. That’s totally unacceptable.”

Ward 124 Councillor Mongameli Mnyameni said, “I am not aware of this because it was not brought to my attention. But, I will investigate the matter.”

Pikitup’s spokesperson Muzi Mkhwanazi told COURIER the area is serviced by Pikitup’s Southdale Depot, and the following services are rendered: the collection of waste bags daily.

“Residents are also provided with one litter bag per week. The depot also clears illegal dumping sites on an ad hoc basis.

“The matter has been referred to the Regional Office because it needs a holistic approach with all stakeholders. It is an area where informal recyclers are working illegally and conducting recycling services. Therefore, Pikitup does not have the mandate to remove the alleged illegal occupiers of the areas but needs the intervention of other stakeholders such as SAPS, JMPD, Social Development and other relevant stakeholders to intervene in the problem. Pikitup will continue to deliver services and engage relevant stakeholders at Regional level find a joint solution to the problem,” Mkhwanazi explained.

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  AUTHOR
Sibonelo Mtshali
Journalist

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