Newcastle is becoming a dump due to poor social habits

Barry Hertzog Park Shopping Centre, Illegal Dumping, Newcastle
Addressing the matter, Ward Councillor Matthew Shunmugam elucidates, "In some cases, illegal dumping is a result of bad social habits and most people are not environmentally conscious."

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Often the public directs its frustrations toward the Municipality and rightfully so. However, when looking at illegal dumping throughout the community, the local Government institute is continually left dealing with this perpetual poor social habit.

On Monday, 15 February 2021, Newcastle Municipal workers once again found themselves working on the daunting task of cleaning up mass amounts of rubbish, at the Barry Hertzog Park Shopping Centre. An overwhelming stench filled the air as Municipal workers waded through the pile of refuse in the centre’s parking lot—cleaning up the mess left by residents.

Addressing the matter, Ward Councillor Matthew Shunmugam elucidates, “In some cases, illegal dumping is a result of bad social habits and most people are not environmentally conscious. Furthermore, people don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions.” He elaborates by stating that illegal dumping can impact Newcastle’s infrastructure. “For example, if you dump your cooldrink bottles, and it rains, these bottles can be swept into the stormwater drains. This in turn, affects the water flow and block the system. So, indirectly, your actions can impact the welfare of others.”

Mlungisi Khumalo, Head of Communications at Newcastle Municipality, concurs with Cllr Shunmugam’s sentiments. “Illegal dumping can sometimes overstretch the municipal workforce. I urge members of the public to refrain from illegal dumping and to think of the health risks before they dump refuse.” With the Newcastle Municipality offering refuse removal services, Cllr Shunmugam states it is concerning this problem exists in town. “People are not always putting their rubbish out on collection days. But you are paying for the service, so you should make use of it.”

Khumalo also reminds community members, residents can face hefty fines if caught dumping their refuse illegally in town—ranging from R1 000 to R4 000.

Looking at solutions, Khumalo adds the Municipality will embark on an aggressive program, educating community members of the health risks related to illegal dumping. One of the main reasons for this is, as he explains, is due to people being unaware of health-related issues stemming from this social ill. “As a municipality, this gravely concerns us, especially since those who are guilty have no regard for the wellbeing of others.”

Khumalo now extends a call-to-action to Newcastillians on behalf of the Newcastle Municipality, urging them to consider future generations and refrain from illegal dumping. “Newcastle is a beautiful town, and we should all work together in keeping it clean,” he concludes.

To report illegal dumping, be sure to contact the Newcastle Municipality Community Services Department on 034 328 7756/ 034 328 7636.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Share your views with us in the comment section below.


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2 Responses

  1. I do not if these comments that we send is ever addressed in the relevant forums as the last time I sent regarding uncut bushes that are surrounding us n very dangerous snakes that are coming into our premises, we had a poisonous rhinkals that was in my yard that very same day. It was so vicious that I had to call the snake catchers as it was spitting poison everywhere.
    With regards to illegal dumping same in this uncut bushes n at the end of the road on Henrietta street the dumping is so bad that wen there is heavy rain huge debris starts washing down n gets stuck in front of our driveways. But so sick n tired of complaining no1 listens.

  2. Perhaps if the municipality did its duties as it should then these things will not happen,they should set an example, but there examples to date is very poor.

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