A rotting, decapitated wildebeest head was discovered among waste dumped illegally at a site in Jan Street in Erasmia, Centurion, last week.
Tonnes of waste was also being dumped at the turn-off to the Royal Elephant Hotel in Eldoraigne.
Former local ward councillor Cindy Billson, requested site inspections to Tshwane metro with concerns of illegal dumping, waste sorting, burning of waste and squatting at the corner of Saxby Avenue and Wierda Road.
The Gauteng department of agriculture and rural development, department of e-health in Tshwane and the Green Scorpions (environmental management inspectors) went to visit the respective sites on Thursday.
“Based on recent inspections conducted by the environmental management inspectorate, there are reasonable grounds to believe that activities at the site have again potentially caused environmental degradation and may continue to do so if decisive action is not taken,” said Billson.
“During both inspections, it was determined that the indicated areas were hugely damaged by dumping that occurred by community members in the Centurion area.”
The inspection at the dumping site in Jan Street was disrupted by a community member who refused to leave the site.
“We could not go ahead with the inspection as the member had to be taken away by police. It seems he wanted to protect the illegal squatters on the site. He made it impossible for the inspection to go ahead as planned,” she added.
A follow-up date with inspectors is yet to be scheduled.
“Since the site was cleared more than a year ago, trucks still enter the site daily to illegally dump garden refuse, general waste and building rubble.
“The waste sorters are now 90 in total and recyclable waste are being sorted all over the site in extreme volumes. There are also hawkers selling plants and handmade articles and also squatting on the site.
“The areas where the dumping occurred are both privately owned. Owners will be issued with notices to clean up. They will possibly be fined because of unauthorised dumping by community members,” said Billson.
Eugene Clark, CEO of Interland Group and owner of the property on Friday communicated that “they are in the process of clearing and securing the site”.
“We are aware of the problem, and I will clear the site and put up a fence. But what happens after that? Why am I paying municipality fees just for them turning a blind eye?
“They need to get their act together and get on board. It is chaos, but we need law enforcement to help us stop this issue.
“We are all in this together. There is a massive land invasion. I can just imagine what huge frustration it must be for the residents in the area,” said Clark.
Frik Bezuidenhout, a concerned citizen, said that crime levels have been on the increase in the area since “squatters basically have made the site their home”.
“We have been living in the area for over 40 years. My wife and I walk past the site every day, and it has become a massive headache and a sight for sore eyes.
“Properties have started to drop in value due to the increasing number of homeless people. The rancid smell that dwells in the air is sometimes unbearable,” said Bezuidenhout.
Dumping facilities are available in Centurion at Mooiplaas with The Waste Group facility.
“There is no reason for the community to deface the environment,” concluded Billson.
This article first appeared on Rekord and was republished with permission.