Mountains of rubbish plague Soweto

Everson Luhanga

Mountains of rubbish, including dead dogs, disposable nappies, rubble and garden refuse are piling up in many residential areas around Soweto.

The Pikitup depot in Dobsonville Soweto was simply shut down for more than three weeks when officials working there tested positive for Covid-19 and no arrangements were made to collect the rubbish.

Aaron Moholatsi, environmental inspector responsible for Braamfischerville, Meadowlands, and Mmesi Park in Soweto told Scrolla.Africa how bad things have been in the past weeks. 

“In some areas, we have found dead dogs just thrown everywhere mixed with rubble and nappies. The situation is a pandemic on its own,” said Aaron.

He said although people have tested positive for Covid, there should be other means to let people use the depot. 

“Covid or not, people have to live and there is always stuff to be dumped,” he said.

“It is obvious that the depot should remain operational despite the circumstances we are living in.”

Residents claim that they were not informed of the closure of the depot.

Community member, Mosela Kgomo said: “We breathe dirty air. I’m afraid many people will get sick from being exposed to all this rubbish. We have been finding bodies of newborn babies. The body of a murdered person was dumped in the rubbish.”

Mosela said it’s hard to have visitors over as they think they live like animals who can’t clean after themselves.

Another resident who identified herself as Nozi said the big health hazard lies with the children.

“Children are bored sitting at home. It becomes hard for parents to control their movements. We don’t know what they are handling and what they have been playing with. We need help,” she said.

Stan Itshegetseng, communication director in the office of the MMC for environment and infrastructure services, said the city is servicing illegal dumping sites where people dump on land owned by the city.

“Our problem has been the privately owned land that is costing the city when the owners don’t pay after using our service,” said Stan.