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'Illegal dumping has reached crisis levels in Sundays River Valley Local Municipality'

Oct 2, 2018
'Illegal dumping has reached crisis levels in Sundays River Valley Local Municipality'

Illegal dumping in the Sundays River Valley has escalated to such an extent that it can only be deemed a crisis, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Tuesday. 

"This problem was brought to the attention of the Sundays River Valley Local Municipality (SRVLM) numerous times, but to date very little has been done to find a solution to the problem," explained Laetitia Erasmus -  a DA Cllr in the Sundays River Valley Local Municipality. 

"The DA Caucus in SRVLM has in the past written letters to the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, under which the Sundays River Valley Municipality falls, but was referred to Mr Speech Sohena, SRVLM Municipal Manager.

"Since 2016 this issue has been tabled several times for consideration by the Municipal Community Standing Committee and several emails were sent to the Director of Community Services, but to no avail."

DA claims it put pressure on the Sundays River Valley Local Municipality over illegal dumping 

Erasmus said that the DA also put pressure on the SRVLM to implement Gazetted Municipal by-laws with immediate effect, but the Municipality responded by claiming that these by-laws are out of date and need to be revisited.

"Even though these by-laws may be out of date, they are still valid. The failure of the Municipality to re-evaluate and update these by-laws is the direct cause of illegal dumping and littering, as there are no consequences for transgressors," she said.

"The illegal dumping and littering in all available open spaces is not only a transgression of the Environmental Health and Safety Act, but also impacts on the health and well-being of residents.

"It also directly impacts on local tourism which is the second highest economic  income generator for our area. Tourism is based on such attractions as nature reserves, animals and wildlife and spectacular natural scenery." 

Erasmus said that the reality is that tourist are faced with filthy streets and uncontrolled dumping.

"Children are exposed to dangerously filthy playing areas and are even playing on rubbish dumps," she described.

"Local communities are faced with litter and dumping in their areas as garbage collection is irregular and not effective.

"I have written to my colleague in the Eastern Cape Legislature, Vicky Knoetze MPL, Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), and she has already submitted questions for written reply to Fikile Xasa, MEC for COGTA."

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