South Africa: Illegal Dumping Site Makes Life Unpleasant in Mfuleni

Residents of Esibaneni in Mfuleni, Cape Town, want the City of Cape Town to block access to an illegal dumping site near their houses.

Buyiswa Dyani, who lives next to piles of rotting garbage, said the area was part of a construction site used by a City contractor building RDP houses last year. When the contractor left, people started using the site as a rubbish tip.

Dyani said residents want the City to supply them with wheelie bins, blue bags, and have a rubbish truck collect the garbage regularly.

On weekends Dyani asks local youngsters to help her gather the rubbish and burn it. Neighbours get angry with her because of the smoke, she says.

"When I clean the tip, I come across filthy adult nappies and I throw up sometimes," she said and showed GroundUp some used adult diapers in the filth.

When she isn't working as a domestic worker in Brackenfell, she sells chicken wings and pork she braais in her yard. "My business is slow because of the stink from the rubbish dump and flies put customers off," she said.

Vinolia Sirhalarhala, principal of Likhona Ithemba Educare, which has 125 children, said the school struggles with flies and with the smoke when the garbage is burnt.

Resident Sindi Pikashe said, "Every day I have to clear up rubbish after I find it piled up at my doorstep ... The flies and stink rush into my house as soon as I open the door when I return from work."

Vuyani Marhawu said dogs drag rotten meat and dead animals from the illegal dump to his yard and eat them. He said he applied for a wheelie bin in November last year but he is still waiting.

"I dump my rubbish [in black bags he buys] at the tip because I have no wheelie bin, and the City of Cape Town doesn't give us blue rubbish bags," he said.

Nosimo Titi said she has a wheelie bin, but the City doesn't collect rubbish in her area and the street cleaners don't remove it either.

Lisle Brown, Media Liaison Officer for the City, said, "It was not possible to complete an investigation into this issue in time for the deadline due to the operational challenges being experienced related Covid-19 mitigation measures."

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