Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie has pleaded with residents to stop illegal dumping, which he says was to blame for drain blockages and overflowing effluent in the area last week.
Spills from a stormwater drain in Apricot and Camelia streets on Friday were caused by a drain blocked by, among other things, a large quantity of rotten fruit, he says.
Resident Soraya Salie said the problem was common in the area and the community needed to stop dumping and do more to care for their neighbourhood instead of shifting the blame onto the City.
Dumping hot spots were cleared weekly by the municipality but soon attracted more rubbish, she said, adding that old tyres were discarded in drains and on fields.
“I really don’t know what the solution is here anymore. People use the drains as their bins; they litter and they have no pride in their community. Ninety percent of the blockages come from dumping. There need to be harsher consequences so that people can stop dumping.”
Mr McKenzie said that in Apricot Street a stormwater drain cover was missing and one could see the rubbish in the drain – the cover had been stolen within days of it being replaced, he said.
Mr McKenzie said that the City spent R350 million on cleaning up illegal dumping spots every year.
People who “paid drug addicts R10 and R20 to dump their rubbish” aggravated the problem, he said.
“Items such as pads, bricks, concrete slabs, pillows, lounge suites, fridges, microwaves and the usual household garbage are being dumped inside drains and on open spaces,” he said.
Aiden Abrahams, from Kersboom Street, said Prunus, Kameelboom, and Bluegum streets were hot spots for dumping and drain overflows.
“I believe that even though we don’t have a lot of law enforcement on patrol in Bonteheuwel they should at least put up signs and allow at least one enforcement van to stand on the dumping premises.”