Do your bit to keep our city clean

Illegal dumping next to Stanford Road, Helenvale, is an ongoing problem
HEALTH HAZARD: Illegal dumping next to Stanford Road, Helenvale, is an ongoing problem

Illegal dumping in Nelson Mandela Bay is an ongoing problem that needs to be addressed not only by the municipality, but by all of us.

The dumps are an eyesore as well as a health hazard.

A year ago, four Port Elizabeth children —  two sets of siblings — died in a suspected food poisoning tragedy in Motherwell.

A fifth child who had been playing with them, and also showed symptoms of poisoning, survived.

The children, aged between 3 and 11, were believed to have eaten contaminated food they found at an illegal dumping site on vacant land, though this has not been confirmed.

Last week, the municipality’s public health department said it had issued fines totalling R10,000 in under a month to people caught dumping refuse illegally, one of them a Korsten businessman.

Public health portfolio committee chair Lance Grootboom said illegal dumping had been increasing in the metro, but the issuing of fines and warnings to the transgressors was having an impact.

Three months ago, about 100 Helenvale residents took matters into their own hands and cleaned up near Helenvale Primary School.

And last month, KwaNobuhle residents cleaned out a dilapidated house that was used for dumping, among other things.

Grootboom says part of the problem is that as quickly as an illegal dumpsite is cleared, refuse starts piling up again the next day.

And with a limited number of trucks operating, the municipality cannot come back to clean the same area every day.

Keeping the city clean and our children safe requires a collective effort.

According to the municipality, residents are already taking pictures and sending them in and it is acting on these tip-offs.

So keep sending in those pictures, along with the details of the culprits if possible.

And join the city’s one-day cleanup challenge, called “Can the city be cleaned in a day?”, in which the municipality and residents will team up for a day between February and March to clean the Bay.

It is not just the municipality’s responsibility to keep the city clean, we all have an obligation to do so.

So let’s all play our part in making it a place to be proud of.


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