South Africa

Residents resort to illegal dumping to keep their own yards clean

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Pretoria North residents continue to face challenges with refuse collection, feeling compelled to dump their waste at the municipal grounds along Daan De Wet Nel Drive.

“The municipality is failing us, where must we dump?” they ask.

There are arguments for and against the issue of illegal dumping.

On the one hand, residents who pay their municipal bills feel justified in using municipal land to dispose of their waste when the municipality fails to provide collection services. They argue they are paying for a service they are not receiving, and dumping is a way to hold the municipality accountable.

However, illegal dumping poses environmental and health risks and creates an unpleasant and unhealthy living environment for residents.

The dumping of waste in public areas is a serious problem in Pretoria North. It is unsightly and unsanitary.

Rekord visited the municipal grounds recently and observed that rubbish had been illegally dumped for approximately a kilometre around the grounds, with flies all around the area and a smell that cannot be missed.

AfriForum North chairperson Quentin Meyer has been working tirelessly to keep Pretoria North clean with his clean-up campaigns and aims at getting the area back to its former glory.

“My team cannot clean up the illegal dumpsite. We do not have enough manpower and it would require machines to pick up the amount of dirt in that area,” he said.

“We are disappointed it has been this long and that people continue to do so because our refuse has not been collected in the past three weeks.”

Meyer added that he had stopped paying for refuse removal services and received messages and emails from the metro, requesting him to pay for a service he had not been receiving.

“I am tired of the city council. Daan de Wet Nel Drive has been a mess for four months now and people are starting to litter again, I don’t blame them.

“We have to pay for services but we do not receive any.”


A resident who had bought a flat right opposite the illegal dumpsite said looking out of her balcony is not as refreshing as it used to be.

“We are surrounded by dirt and the smell is so bad. It may not be nice to look at sometimes but the flies in our flat make it even worse as people continue to dump.

“I hope the municipality can do something to clean up the area,” said the resident

The Tshwane metro has launched a clean-up campaign in the region, known as #ReKaofela. The campaign is targeting illegal dumping outside the garden and landfill sites, as well as doing public cleansing and removing litter across all the city’s regions.

Environment and Agriculture MMC, Ziyanda Zwane said the campaign was aimed at achieving a cleaner and greener city through proper waste management services. They will increase the use of the 240L waste bins, minimise waste at source, and curb the costs of dealing with illegal dumping.

“Rekaofela is a Sesotho name that highlights the importance of a collective effort in eradicating illegal dumping,” he said.

“Illegal dumping poses a significant threat to our community’s cleanliness, health, and overall well-being. It tarnishes the natural beauty of our surroundings and endangers our ecosystem’s delicate balance.

“The city recognises the urgency of addressing this problem and is committed to working hand-in-hand with residents, businesses, and civic organisations to combat it effectively,” said Zwane.

The metro warned that the City of Tshwane Waste Management By-law, section 24 (5) states: “Should a person be found guilty of contravening the provisions of this section, he or she shall, notwithstanding any penalty imposed on him or her by the court, remove and dispose of the abandoned waste or waste material as directed by the municipality, or the municipality may without delay remove and dispose of the waste or waste material itself at the expense of that person including any administrative expense incurred by the municipality associated with helping or incentivising members of the public to assist in the prosecution.”

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