OPINION: Resolving littering remains country’s biggest unsolved hazard


South Africa’s escalating problem of coping with littering once again came under the spotlight during two events in Nelson Mandela Bay this past weekend.

On Saturday, visitors to the Nelson Mandela Bay Cultural Festival left the pavement opposite the entrance to St. George's Park strewn with glass beer bottles and their packaging despite the number of the bins and skips around the area.

A real shock to the system however was witnessing the amounts of rubbishing dumped at the Port Elizabeth train station where RNews boarded a Metrorail train as part of the Nelson Mandela Train Race on Sunday morning.

Many of the disused tracks are, in parts, concealed under long grass and garbage, while the section from Sydenham to New Brighton stations are even worse with pieces of burned metal, old tyres, broken appliances and glass, rotten wood and even more rubbish strewn alongside the track.

In some cases, many of the long forgotten tracks leading to and from factories have either been stolen or concealed under a mixture of grass, broken bottles, endless plastics chairs and burned pieces of metal.

What makes this even worse is, is that this section of track is used for transporting commuters from Uitenhage and Despatch on a daily basis, as well as welcoming visitors opting for the Shosoloza Meyl long-distance passenger train.

Having overcome many problems in the past, it would appear that little to no attention or effort is being made to curb what is one of the biggest issues facing South Africa today.

With environment conservation and going green now truly established as here to stay, its remains a mystery as to why a) government and municipalities are not responding to a problem going from bad to worse and b) why no attempt is being made to teach the effectives of littering at schools to children from a young age.


St. Georges images sourced from The Friendly City on Facebook