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City urges residents to blow the whistle on illegal waste dumpers Print E-mail
15 June 2017
Cleanup

The City of Johannesburg Member of Mayoral Committee for Environment and Infrastructure Services Cllr Nico de Jager led a major clean-up drive in Zandspruit in Region C on Wednesday June 14 during which he emphasised the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling waste to create a cleaner, better and healthier environment.

MMC De Jager, officials and employees of the City’s waste management entity Pikitup and scores of local residents combed vast swathes of the high density informal settlement as they went about collecting litter from street corners and loaded it onto refuse removal trucks for disposal.

As they moved from one area to another they were confronted by blocked sewage pipes, vandalised communal taps, putrid running grey water and a pungent stench emanating from illegal dumping sites.

Cllr De Jager said every citizen deserved to live in a good and healthy environment. He said the City needed to find a long-lasting solution to recurring service delivery challenges such as blocked drains.

“We need to make sure that communities understand the importance of infrastructure. The pipes get blocked because of what people throw into the system. From our office, we are going to be running an ongoing campaign to get communities to commit themselves to protecting the City’s infrastructure,” he said.

The MMC said there were illegal waste dumpers who targeted informal settlements, operating mostly at night. He said this illegal practice, which posed a threat to the community and cost the City more than R50-million a year, would soon come to an end.

Cllr De Jager said the City would soon provide residents with whistles that they would blow every time a truck arrived in the area to dump waste. But he strongly warned residents not to toss rubbish into the drainage system.

“We cannot get Johannesburg Water to come and flush the system every two to three weeks, which is what happens in high-density areas,” he said.

He reiterated that the City was committed to serving all communities, regardless of their class. “Just because you are poor does not mean you deserve an infrastructure that is poor,” he said.

Pikitup Managing Director Lungile Dhlamini said littering had become a culture in Johannesburg. “This is not only in poor communities. We can come up with the most sophisticated equipment and infrastructure [to create a clean environment] but at the end of the day the culture has to change,” Dhlamini said.

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Last Updated on 15 June 2017