A TOWNSHIP non- profit organisation, fed up with the illegal dumping that plagues parts of the city, has called on the community and the municipality to help rid the metro of this dirty practice while creating awareness about environmental health.
Picketing outside the Pendla Primary School in Ntshekisa Road, New Brighton, on Friday, pupils and members of the Township Green organisation said the picket was the first of many steps to rally all Bay residents and relevant bodies behind the fight against illegal dumping.
The area outside the school is one of the many hotspots around New Brighton where people dump their waste. Another is the area around the Emlotheni Memorial site on Limba Road that commemorates fallen struggle hero Vuyisile Mini.
Bearing placards reading "Rubbish brings us disease. Don't dump near our schools" and "Keep our surroundings clean", pupils threw their weight behind the campaign, committing to ward off those who insisted on dumping in front of their school.
Township Green founder Sizwe Johnson said they wanted to create a noise around the worsening problem of illegal dumping in the historical township and to help foster a culture of using vacant land for planting vegetation.
"We are calling on the community, businesses and individuals to look after their environment and for pupils to practise environmental awareness," he said.
"We want people to take pride in their surroundings and be able to chase away those who litter and to alert the authorities. The tendency of community members to let such things slide is what is fuelling this problem and we need to change how dumping has become second nature to some."
Pendla Primary teacher Mkhaya Thabe said the nearby dumpsite was a health hazard for pupils, who had stopped accessing parts of the school grounds due to the stench from the waste.
"People throw unsavoury items here, including leftover food and dead animals, causing a stink that filters through to our classrooms," he said.
"We hope the relevant powers can assist in this, but we will also play our part [in eradicating the problem]."
Ward 14 councillor Vuyani Dyantyi said he would continue raising the issue of illegal dumping with the municipality.
"We have been highlighting this problem and its serious ramifications, like rodents that end up invading people's homes," he said.
"There is a serious need for municipal intervention."