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City tackles illegal dumping near clinic Print E-mail
06 March 2017

You just cannot have rubbish next to a health facility.

"That defeats the objectives of healthy living. Rubbish and health cannot exist side by side.”

This was said by Sharlene Moshidi, a Senior Inspector in the City of Johannesburg’s Environmental Health Department during a door-to-door waste management campaign in Ivory Park Extension 9, north of Johannesburg, on Friday March 3.

The campaign came after the department received numerous complaints from local councillor Julia Gololo and the management of Hikhensile Clinic about illegal dumping next to the primary health facility.

Pikitup, the City’s waste management entity, and the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) were also involved in the campaign, which also covered streets such as Lokologa, Izinyoni, Ukala, Sisonke and Shukuma.

Volunteers from local non-governmental organisations were provided with training specifically for the campaign.

“It was very important for us to have buy-in from residents for it to be successful,” said Moshidi.

Tania Masebe, an Environmental Health Inspector, said it was illegal and unhealthy to dispose of rubbish and waste anywhere. She said the Constitution as well as the National Health Act and the Municipal Health Act provided for the prosecution of those found in contravention of municipal by-laws.

“It is wrong to throw unwanted items in the streets, rivers, drains and unused public or private land. This has serious implications for both the environment and the quality of life. Residents have a tendency of disposing of dead animals like dogs and cats anywhere. Can you imagine the stench coming from the decay,” said Masebe.

She told residents that dumping leftovers in drains was wrong and could clog the system, at great cost and inconvenience to the community.

Pikitup’s Kgopotso Ngobeni encouraged residents to use supplied refuse bins and to always take them out of the yard on the days of collection. He also said Pikitup would make big refuse bins available for the disposal of items such as old mattresses and big boxes and after huge parties.

Moshidi said the City’s EMS Department encouraged residents to always have emergency numbers at hand.

“Each household should have numbers of local ambulance services, police station and the fire-fighting department. Children should also be urged to memorise those numbers. Public places such as clinics should also display the numbers on notice boards,” said Moshidi.

Ukala Street homeowner Syvia Ndaba said the City last distributed small dustbins 10 years ago. “Those refuse bins are old and too small for a family of four. As we speak, in one yard you find on average three families sharing that small bin. We need bigger bins. And refuse collection should be done twice a week,” said Ndaba.

Patrick Mbatha, also a resident, wished emergency services could respond quickly to situations. “I lost a brother after he was stabbed in the street. An ambulance arrived two hours later. He would have survived if they had responded early to our calls,” said Mbatha.

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Last Updated on 07 March 2017