In the district of Pretoria North, a proactive movement emerged as concerned residents took decisive action to rectify the burgeoning problem of illegal dumpsites that had increased due to the accumulation of waste from delayed refuse collection. This collective effort involved the residents and local organisations, security firms, and the dedicated ward councillor, all of whom united to undertake a comprehensive cleanup endeavour.
Over five weeks, the Tshwane metro region had been grappling with a disruption in its essential service delivery, consequently inflicting exasperation and inconvenience upon its inhabitants. The concomitant absence of proper waste collection had given rise to a distressing situation characterised by overflowing waste bins and unsanitary conditions, forcing some residents into the unfortunate resort of unlawful roadside dumping.
One notable area that bore the brunt of this issue was Daan de Wet Nel Street, which had devolved into an unregulated dumpsite. The concerted cleanup operation purged this locale of accumulated waste and debris. Mickey van der Westhuizen, representing the House of Peace Shelter, voiced deep concerns regarding the malodorous environment and widespread waste throughout the city, which he deemed a profound menace to both public health and the surrounding ecosystem. Urgent action was paramount, he asserted, to alleviate community distress and mitigate the potential threats to public well-being.
Van der Westhuizen lamented the metamorphosis of the town, once characterised by its beauty, into a “waste swamp” as a consequence of the illicit dumpsite. The visual blight caused by towering piles of waste and the pervading foul stench marred the town’s once-charming aesthetics. This grim circumstance propelled the community into immediate action, with the goal of restoring the town’s former allure and safeguarding its residents’ physical and health-related safety.
Quieten Meyer, a spokesperson for the “Ons sal Self” organisation, voiced grave concerns over the multifaceted impact of the illegal dumpsite. He highlighted the disturbing consequences of accumulating waste alongside the proliferation of rodents and insects, both of which had collaboratively generated an unhygienic and dangerous environment. Meyer emphasised the imperative of addressing this issue earnestly to thwart further environmental degradation, as it was clear that the problem surpassed mere nuisance and posed an active threat to public health.
In this context, the unsanctioned dumpsites were unequivocally characterised as breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, which underlined the gravity of the issue. To bolster the efforts, private security firms Cobra and Maxim Security pledged to undertake vigilant patrols in the area to tackle the issue of illegal dumping head-on. Juan Van Staden, the operational manager of Cobra Security, affirmed their commitment to heightened visibility and the apprehension of those found unlawfully disposing of waste. He stated unequivocally that individuals caught in illegal dumping would be handed over to the Tshwane metro police, further underscoring the collective determination to combat this pressing problem and restore the community’s well-being.
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Photo: Supplied by Rekord