Dumpsites finally cleared after reporter asks questions

Rubbish was piling up in Blackburn Village informal settlement north of Durban

By Nokulunga Majola

2 February 2022

Three illegal dumpsites in Blackburn Village have finally been cleared. Photo: Nokulunga Majola

Three illegal dumps in Blackburn Village informal settlement north of Durban were finally cleared at the weekend after GroundUp sent questions to the municipality about cleansing services.

Residents complained about the three dumps in one of the settlement’s streets and about garbage piling up week after week.

“People are too lazy to remove their own garbage and end up dumping their filth here,” said Nkosingiphile Madubu.

“This whole place smells like garbage. I think the main cause is that we don’t get plastic bags like we used to, so now people just dump anywhere.”

Questioned by GroundUp on 18 January, eThekwini spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said in March last year that the City had conducted a clean-up in the area and 1,040 tons of waste were removed. He said refuse removal in Blackburn is done every Wednesday and the process of clearing illegal dumps in the area was underway. “The City has already held three clean-ups in the area and more clean-ups are to follow,” Mayisela said.

GroundUp sent follow-up questions on 26 January asking about rubbish collection and why residents would dump rubbish if the rubbish collection services worked efficiently. We asked if the City checked that rubbish collection was working and whether it was true that residents no longer get plastic bags.

Lindiwe Khuzwayo, eThekwini spokesperson, responded on 28 January that each area had its own Area Manager “who regularly checks”. She said she was not aware that residents were not getting plastic bags.

Meanwhile, residents said Durban Solid Waste employees had gone to clean the dumps in the morning of 28 January and by 29 January the rubbish had all been removed.