Illegal dumping and hotspots in South Africa


Dis hoe die nasionale blomme in Suid-Afrika lyk.      “Spesiale Groentes groei  met ‘n spoed en kan enige tyd afgepluk word.   Katte kan ook sommer kleintjies kry”.     Oral is inwoners verseker trots op hul blommewêreld wat hul geskep het, want die ” groentes ” wat aangeplant is, kos hulle niks nie en is gratis om te oes.   As rotte oorneem, kan hulle sommer proteine ook inkry soos in Zimbabwe gedoen word.     Die nagevolge is egter nie so goed nie, dit getuig van lekker lewe en eet, vooruitgang en ontwikkeling.   Om alles te kroon kom al die voedsel wat aangekoop word vanaf die Boer se lande of pluimvee – en veekrale – die Boer wat swartes sing om te vermoor.
This kind of ‘Flowers’ are expensive and anybody can go and took some vegetables here in the same landscape of rubbish.   What a stinky unhealthy situation, a place for rats and snakes.

Kraaifontein looks great

Image may contain: sky, cloud, shoes and outdoor

Kraaifontein is not the only place.


Health care workers do their best to help people stay healthy. But if the waste from the health care risk waste is not handled safety, it can spread illness to the health workers and the surrounding community. Health care risk waste includes waste from the clinics, hospital, laboratories, blood banks, dental clinics, birth centers and animal hospitals. It does also include the waste from the immunization programs (also called immunization campaigns) and medical waste aid missions and waste produced from caring for the sick at home (Conant J, Fadem P, (2008).

Most waste from health care centre are ordinary waste like paper, cardboard and food scraps. But some health wastes are contaminated with blood fluids that may carry harmful germs and spread disease. Used needles and other sharp tools can cause injury and spread disease. Some health care waste, such as plastic, contains toxic chemicals. When waste that carried harmful germs and toxic chemicals is mixed with ordinary waste, the mixed waste becomes a threat to all who handle it. That is why separation of waste is so important.
Safe handling of health care risk waste uses the same basic method used to dispose of other solid wastes. But wastes contaminated with the body fluid and germs must be disinfect end and dispose of in ways that protect the health care people and the environment.

Waste is an unwanted or unusable material, substance or by-product. Waste that is generated in a Healthcare facility is classed as Health Care Risk Waste (HCRW) includes sharps (syringes, disposal scalpels, blades etc.), non-sharps (swabs, bandages, disposal medical devices etc.), blood and anatomic waste (blood bags, diagnostic samples, body parts etc.), chemical (solvent, disinfectants etc.) pharmaceuticals and may infectious, toxic, create injuries or radioactive.

In a Healthcare facility setting HCRW is in handle by the health care personnel and waste management personnel (this can be the Environmental Health Practitioner). The aforementioned personnel need to work hand in hand to ensure that there is proper management and handling of HCRW. Improper handling and management of HCRW presents a great deal of harm in the community and therefore presenting a risk of exposure to diseases and polluting the environment.
The risk to the community includes intentional and unintentional exposure in the absence of a safe waste management system. Intentional exposure occurs through the widespread reuse of disposal material (especially syringes) in developing counties and result in the main disease burden caused by inadequate health care waste management. (Haneline M, Meeker W. (2011). Main disease outcomes of concern include Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) transmission.

Unintentional injuries may occur when the community is exposed to inadequately disposed waste for example through scavenging on waste sites. The risk to waste workers and health personnel who handle health care wastes are currently being investigated. If adequate measures are taken, the risks to the segment of the population should be low. Most cultures are sensitive to the aesthetics of HCRW or perceives the risk as being high to the point that waste works sometimes refuse to handle the wastes.

To date there is no low-cost, environmental friendly and safe disposal option for health- care waste are available. Low-cost options are often polluting and are therefore indirectly potentially harmful to human health. The absence of management however also puts human health at risk. Significant improvements can however be achieved by management option such as purchase policies, and isolation and improper treatment of key segment of the waste.


JOHANNESBURG SOUTH – Pikitup, the City of Joburg’s waste management entity, is increasing its continuous efforts in the fight against illegal dumping.

It costs the City approximately R170 million per annum to clean up street littering and illegal dump sites, money that could be far better utilised in building 7 350 RDP houses, acquiring 588 new ambulances or any number of other projects to bring the city up to world-class standards and providing basic services.


Illegal dumping has become a norm across the country as more municipalities close down due to allegations of corruption and waste remains uncollected.  As this escalates, people resort to dumping on property that is intended for their own community’s development. While there’s an outcry for land in South Africa, a lot of it has been converted into waste lands. The environment has become lethal to the community and the residents are complicit in the making of this weapon by continuing to feed these spaces with waste. If municipalities are not functioning and waste is not collected, who will take care of the land? And who do we hold accountable for the lives of our youth lost because of the waste?

According to Stephen “Bra Steve” Mazibuko, a regional supervisor of Pikitup Orange Farm, 1 in 10 youth die by the time they are 18 years due to illegal dumping spaces related illnesses in Orange Farm and workers are not immune either. “The issue of the environment is a very sensitive subject. While the emissions coming from the waste kills 1 out of 10 young people in Orange Farm, the workers themselves get sick and that’s why they always have to have full proper personnel protective equipment (PPE) because the chemicals are very deadly.” says Bra Steve. The chemicals come from the waste as it reacts to the heat of the sun. The most common kind of waste you will find across townships is nappies. Nappies make up most of any dumping space and there’s currently no use for them. They are surprisingly almost always thrown away in large quantities at a time; which suggest that they stay for 2-3 weeks before they were dumped. It is not uncommon to find plastics full of nappies, not only in traditional dumping spaces but in water bridges and open fields.

Illegal Dumping Space is the Norm Townships


Richards Bay

ILLEGAL dumping remains a challenge in Aquadene as residents continue to dispose of their refuse at greenbelt areas, parks and vacant plots.   Community leader, Luyanda Msane said despite numerous attempts to deter the illegal activity, vacant areas in the suburb continue to be easy targets and hotspots for dumping.


‘Our appeal to the city has been for them to take action by removing the illegal dumping, erecting warning signs against dumping and to enforce penalties for disobeying the laws.

Richards Bay residents urged to refrain from illegal dumping


Illegal dumping and littering is still an ongoing problem in all nine provinces of South Africa. Moreover, with the lockdown and essential workers testing positive for COVID-19, many municipalities around the country experienced a backlog in their efforts to remove waste. Illegal dumping sites are now on the increase.

These sites serve as a breeding ground for mosquitos and vermin such as rodents and cockroaches that can cause life-threatening diseases. 

Municipalities need the public to help combat illegal dumping by reporting perpetrators. These criminal activities by individuals or organised groups negatively impact the lives of particularly the elderly and children, as they often come into contact with dangerous and contaminated medical waste, including items that may be contaminated with the COVID-19 coronavirus,” said Clive Africa, GRDM Executive Manager for Community Services.

Local municipalities do their utmost to inform and educate residents regarding illegal dumping and using the available waste removal services. The cost involved in the removing and cleaning of illegal dumping is exorbitant and could be better utilised in delivering other desperately required services in the communities. Local municipalities also issue fines of up to R1000.00 to those found guilty of illegally dumping waste.

Communication Manager of George Municipality, Ms Chantel Edwards-Klose, has indicated that George Municipality has recorded more than 200 illegal dumping spots within their municipal area. “Our municipality has run illegal dumping awareness campaigns at a number of schools and implemented extensive awareness efforts on radio and social media over the years. Trespassers know that what they are doing is illegal, which makes it even sadder that they have no pride in their surroundings or concern for the well-being of their neighbours. It is so disheartening to our officials to clean up an area, at great expense, and go back a week later to find it filled with dumped refuse again.”

Illegal dumping remains a problem in the Garden Route, all over South Africa and many parts of the world


Wie kuier op onwettige stortingsterreine – Rats, snakes and diseases
Onwettige stortingsterreine – RATS/ROTTE – Illegal waste areas


Illegal dumping hotspots in the Garden Route

Apart from open spaces, there are specific areas within each municipal boundary where illegal dumping happens more often than others. Remember, the illegal dumping of waste poses a threat not only to the environment, but the health and well-being of communities too.

Hessequa:  Theronsville, Aloeridge, Morestond and Kwanokuthula. Residents from the Hessequa municipal area can report the illegal dumping of waste to 028 713 8020 or e-mail

Mossel Bay: Heiderand, KwaNonqaba, Alsapark, Highwaypark, Groot-Brakrivier, Hartenbos, Sonskynvallei, D’Almeida, JCC, Klein-Brakrivier, Glentana, Reebok, Fraaituitsig, Tarka, Ruiterbos and Friemersheim.  Residents from the Mossel Bay municipal area can report the illegal dumping of waste to 044 606 5143 or 044 606 5000, SMS your complaint to 44802 or e-mail

George: Thembalethu, Protea Park, Lavalia, Rosemoor, Conville, Maraiskamp, Parkdene, Rosedale, Syferfontein, New Dawn Park, Seaview, Blanco, Touwsranten, Widlerness Heights Informal Settlement and Kleinkrantz Informal Settlement. Report those illegally dumping waste to 044 801 6350 or e-mail

Knysna: Dam-se-Bos, Nekkies, Khayalethu, Concoria, Joodse Kamp, Smutsville, Karatara and Rheenendal. Residents from the Knysna municipal area can report the illegal dumping of waste to 044 302 6405, e-mail or WhatsApp to 081 556 3974.

Bitou: New Horizons, Kwanokuthula, Bossiesgif, Qolweni, Pine Trees, Green Valley, Harkeville, Kranshoek and Kurland. Residents from the Bitou municipal area can report the illegal dumping of waste to or call 044 501 3174/5.

Greater Oudtshoorn: Bridgton and Bongolethu where illegal dumping is rife. Residents from the Greater Oudtshoorn municipal area can report the illegal dumping of waste to 044 203 7800.

Kannaland: Informal settlements, Royal Heights and Protea Park. Residents from the Kannaland municipal area can report the illegal dumping of waste to 078 409 9064.

All over South Africa

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