Ward 70 Councillor Tony Govender, has called on the eThekwini Municipality to increase the fines for illegal dumping from R5 000 to R50 000.

This follows growing concerns over dumpster divers causing havoc near the Bangladesh Market in Westcliff and the Sagittarius Road dump site. The area is being weighed under rubbish that litter the streets and waste dumped on the embankment, near the pathway. In a bid to get the area cleared and cleaned up, Govender took the eThekwini Human Settlements and Infrastructure portfolio committee on an oversight visit of the affected area. During the visit, they were greeted by streets lined with rubbish, and people looking through skip bins to find recyclable material.

The councillor was also accompanied by DSW operations manager for Chatsworth, Nomfundo Chiliza, when he met with market officials Sipho Muthwa and Peter Shazi. Govender said: “It is very evident that illegal dumping still remains the biggest problem we are experiencing. Officials are trying to make different plans to address the issue and I also suggested that the fine for illegal dumping for those whom are caught, to be increased to R50 000 rather than the current R5000.”

The team also confronted some of the alleged dumpster divers. “Other issues that are still prevalent at the Woodhurst dump site are the scavengers who hang out for residents who bring their throwaways. They break them and then discard them over the bridge facing the freeway which is a real eyesore. When questioned, they deny it. An operation will be done shortly to clean up this mess,” Govender said.

When questioned about the littering, one of the alleged “scavengers” said, “Its not us doing this, people are illegally dumping their rubbish here and use us as cover. They know, we’ll get blamed for it and they will get away with the dumping of their garbage bags.”

They also found a similar problem near the Higginson Highway, where torn black bin bags and rubbish were strewn down the embankment, spilling over to the highway. “For those unscrupulous individuals who still bring your rubbish and dump it illegally, I want to caution
you, your days are numbered. If caught, be prepared to go to jail,” Govender said.