By Uviwe Jara
Rubbish has been part of the lives of people who live near the dumping site in Stoney Drift.
Tipini is one of the former dumping sites under the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM). The municipality no longer dumps there but the general public is allowed to dump garden refuse, like tree leaves and grass, but they also dump things they are not supposed to, like plastic, steel and glass.
Nceba Molose, deputy chairperson at the Stoney Drift community said: “People came to live here when the place was still used by the municipality to dump rubbish. People came for different reasons, some wanted independence. When they got to East London they could not find places to stay so they came here and we gave them places to build their houses. We are still continuing to provide those in need with land.”
There are also children living in this unhealthy situation and in danger of being exposed to diseases.
Ntombekhaya Sonkqayi, a teacher at the crèche near the dumping site, said: “The crèche is doing its best to keep the children off the dumping site during the school time then after school it is up to the parents to look after their kids.”
Recently a child allegedly drank an acid without knowing it was an acid, but that happened outside the crèche, she said.
The municipality employs people to monitor what the public dumps there. A. Ludidi, BCMM supervisor said: “A doctor from Vincent is fined R9000 for dumping unacceptable rubbish here.”
The municipality moves rubbish every day to the site near Berlin.
Monde Mkali, chairperson of the Stoney Drift community, said: “Our councillor always promises us everything before the elections but that leads to empty promises, they are just using us.”
Nceba Molose added: “We would appreciate if the government can help us with electricity or even a mobile clinic. Now, when there is someone who is sick, the ambulance takes a lot of time to get here, even the police take their time to help us.”
Similar to how it is being done in rural areas, the chairperson and deputy made it clear that they are the ones responsible for allocating a plot to someone in need and they are still allowing people to come and be part of the community.