Ricochet News

‘They’ll shoot us’ residents tell Trollip at anti-illegal dumping task force launch

By Afikile Lugunya - Feb 21, 2018
‘They’ll shoot us’ residents tell Trollip at anti-illegal dumping task force launch

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, and Mayoral Committee Member for Public health, Lance Grootboom, officially launched the Metro’s Illegal Dumping Task Force on Wednesday at the Corner of William Slammert Drive and Mpuko Street, in KwaNoxolo, Port Elizabeth.

“Illegal dumping is a huge challenge. The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has zero tolerance to illegal dumping, so this Task Force consists of four months pilot project, some officials will use vehicles and work around the town to ensure that there are no illegal damping’s happening around,” Cllr Grootboom told residents.

He said that the special vehicles have cameras and will even patrol during the night in order to catch perpetrators.

Grootboom said that illegal dumping was affecting all areas in the Bay, hence they will soon target other areas that include Zwide, Motherwell and Walmer.

He emphasised the importance of keeping the municipality clean by standing together as the community of Nelson Mandela Bay because when the City is clean, it will likely attract more investors.

“It is very important for the community to stand together and become the watch force, starting by reporting illegal dumpers so that they will not do it again,” Grootboom said.

“We are looking forward to working together with the municipality to ensure a clean and safe city. We will save money and ensure job opportunities. This is a launch; there will be more communication towards this, to ensure that our city is clean and beautiful.”

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Mayoral Committee for Safety and Security, John Best, said that the vehicles will be able to spot illegal dumping from a kilometre away -  and as soon as an incident is recorded, the task force will track down the suspects.

Mayor Trollip advised residents to take videos and photos of anyone seen dumping in the area.

That is when residents raised concern that they will be risking their lives in doing that.

A local ward committee member, Lungile Sokani said: “It’s dangerous for us when you say that we must point fingers because in this area, people die all the time from being shot and we are scared because these gangsters don’t make empty threats.”

He added that some have already relocated to other areas because of fear.

Mayor Trollip said that information received will be confidential, so there is no need for fear.

Ward Councillor, Edward Harker, also encouraged residents not to be afraid and report illegal dumping as he will personally make sure that any information reported will stay confidential.

“For this project to work, there must be community engagements, so that they can understand that it is wrong to dump illegally,” he added.