Cafda’s dumping woes

A truck collects the garbage at a field in 12th Avenue in Cafda Village.

Illegal dumping at a field in Cafda Village is the cause of much concern for nearby residents.

Bakkies, trucks as well as trolleys and bins filled with rubble are offloaded on the corner of 12th Avenue and Gordon Searle Street, leaving an unbearable smell and the streets littered with garbage.

Ward 110 councillor Shanen Rossouw said dumping at the field has been going on for a while but seems to have worsened over the past few months.

“Every time I call the solid waste department to clean up and the very same day there is dumping again and it costs the City a lot of money to clean up,” she said.

Ms Rossouw asked for a skip to be placed at the dumping hot spot but it seemed to make things even worse.

“Initially when the skip was placed there, it helped but then people starting throwing their waste next to the skip and this caused even more rubbish to be dumped there. I don’t understand why people are dumping because it looks terrible and there have been a lot of complaints. We cannot keep cleaning up and then it is right back to how it looked before,” said Ms Rossouw.

The skip has since been removed but dumping continues unabated.

The councillor said the land had, however, been sold to a church to start a community centre (“Cafda community centre coming soon”, Southern Mail, September 26, 2018).

Pastor Mark Killian from the New Apostolic House, which has been based at Douglas Murray Home for the Aged, has had plans for the 4 500 square metre piece of the land and will be commencing with building plans soon but said Covid-19 has halted development and halted the deed of sale to be processed.

Mr Killian said he is aware of the dumping problem and has discussed various options like fencing but the church is in the process of collecting funds to put up fencing which will cost between R180 000 and R250 000.

“We have succeeded in buying the land which cost a lot of money but thanks to donors we were able to acquire it. But we are still in the process of collecting funds for the fencing because we do not have the funds. I understand the community’s frustrations and I have tried everything in my power to stop it but we have to wait for the funding,” he said.

He agreed that placing the skip at the field looks like it encouraged people to dump their garbage. “It seemed to have given them permission to dump there, which only made it 100 times worse,” he said.

In the meantime Mr Killian has been trying to speak to residents to encourage them not to dump their rubbish on the field.

Shiyaam Pillay, who lives opposite the illegal dump hot spot, said the situation is becoming unbearable and attempts to talk to people who dump there have become futile and in many cases would end in her being sworn at.

“I stand outside and I watch people dump and I tell them that they shouldn’t but they swear and scream at me. It is disgusting and the smell that comes from there is unbearable. The skip made things worse. Now they’re setting the garbage alight and the house is full of smoke. Something needs to be done because when they clean – not even a day later and it’s exactly back to how it looked before,” said Ms Pillay.

She offered to start a community garden with other community members to try and stop the dumping.

One of the men, who did not want to be named, who often dumps at the site told the Southern Mail he thought it was fine to throw garbage there.

“I clean people’s yards and I get a little money from it so when I’m done, I throw the stuff on the field because the City must come clean it – that’s what they are paid for. I don’t want to walk all the way to the drop-off centre; it’s too far. They can just fetch all the dirt from here and take it to the centre,” he said.

Mr Killian and Ms Rossouw urged residents not to have their dirt thrown on any open pieces of land and to make sure the people who clean their yards take the dirt to a drop-off centre instead of dumping it on vacant land.

Mr Killian also gave permission for a community garden to be started in the interim to counter the dumping.

He also thanked the ward councillor and member of Parliament Dennis Joseph for their continued support during the planning of the community centre.

Ottery resident Keith Blake, who is a retired police captain, encouraged residents to take pride in their communities. He also said residents should stand together and report illegal dumping: “Let us as community members in our respective suburbs truly and realistically realise what the results are for all the illegal dumping we commit or allow in and around our suburb. Illegal dumping allows for germs to breed rapidly – this leads to greater breeding grounds for pests like rats and mice, both plaque agents,” he said.