IN our recent caucus meeting, as DA councillors in Nelson Mandela Bay, we undertook to do our utmost best to combat illegal dumping and we hope to encourage residents to act responsibly through awareness campaigns.
Our caucus meetings are held regularly to discuss various matters to prepare for upcoming council meetings in order to uphold greater-good interests of metro residents on various pertinent issues in council.
Following our efforts through numerous motions and debates regarding illegal dump sites, in council as well as the public health committee and the municipal public accounts committee meetings, we all expressed gross dissatisfaction at the lack of progress by the metro in curbing illegal dumping.
Recent public outcry in the media regarding illegal waste and littering in public spaces also demonstrates we have the backing of the majority of Bay residents, from diverse communities, in declaring war on this scourge.
Our caucus resolved that a task team be formed to devise strategies that would compel the Bay officials to take action and raise awareness among the public to discourage this dreadful behaviour.
As DA public representatives in the Bay, we are under no illusions that this can only be achieved through buy-in from metro residents.
But equally important is effective enforcement of by-laws on illegal waste and littering.
Councillor Retief Odendaal has been tasked to drive this issue through a caucus sub-committee dubbed the “dumping team”.
Illegal dumping and littering defaces the beauty of our metro. It renders it unattractive to potential investors who would otherwise be impressed by its effective service delivery and therefore be encouraged to invest in our metro.
Furthermore, there are dire consequences of health hazards caused by illegal waste, especially in residential areas and particularly in places like New Brighton and Gelvandale where kids regularly play in the streets and in open public spaces with scores of garbage bags strewn unattended.
The DA also invites metro residents to take ownership of their public spaces and act as responsible citizens. We urge them to refrain from littering, report illegal dumping and contact our offices for more assistance on this grave issue.
We also urge the municipal officials to do their part by enforcing the by-laws and eradicate illegal dumping sites.
Knight Mali, DA caucus spokesperson, Nelson Mandela Bay metro