Stakeholders attending the illegal dumping awareness session in Thembalethu last Saturday.

Following an Illegal Dumping Awareness session that was held at Thembalethu Community Hall last Saturday 31 October, it was clear that illegal dumping is a big problem and health hazard in George and without the help of the local communities the Municipalities will not be able to keep up with the cleaning of dumps, as it is not financially viable. The Executive Mayor of George, Alderman Leon van Wyk, said in his address to the stakeholders present, “we can only win this war on waste when we have plans in place to sustain our efforts in addressing illegal dumping.

Cllr Khayalethu Lose (GRDM), Aldm Memory Booysen (Mayor of GRDM) and Aldm Leon van Wyk (Mayor of George) watching the presentation at the event.

Van Wyk said it became evident during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic that illegal dumping in areas such as Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp was becoming a serious health concern. “We were advised to take action and source funding to undertake the cleaning up of sites. From a George Municipality perspective we appreciate any kind of assistance from government institutions as well as the private sector is highly welcomed and appreciated.” Van Wyk said it is indeed wonderful that the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the George Municipality are working together to clean dumping sites. He said we need to take pride in our homes, properties and areas in which we live. There are many dangers and negative effects that arise from dumping. It becomes a health risk to humans and animals.

Members from the Sikhulasonke project is a non-profit organisation based in Thembalethu community. The organisation assists the community by beautifying some of the dumping sites, as they would like communities to look clean, safe and green. They are currently busy on site in Nelson Mandela Boulevard.
The Municipality assisted the members with working materials to clean the sites and beautify it. In front from left are Nokuthula Gumana, Khanyisa Angel Dukumbana, Sivuyile Adams and Ethan Stoffels (George Mun). At the back are Cllr Khayalethu Lose, Aldm Memory Booysen, Lunga Pieters, Wonga Luke, Tanja Botha (George Mun), Grace Notshokovu, (George Mun) Karin Stoffels (George Mun) and Aldm Leon van Wyk.

Van Wyk said these problems also need to be addressed at national government level in terms of advertising and education. He said municipalities will never have enough funding at any stage to end illegal dumping. “We need to work together to eliminate dumping. The City of Cape Town spends hundreds of millions of rand on addressing illegal dumping. George Municipality struggles  to allocate R10 million every financial year. If we didn’t have to spend this money on clearing dumping, it could be spent on other important services such as, playground equipment, sport and assistance to small and micro businesses.

Stakeholders at the event are in front from left, Cllr Jenny Hartnick (GRDM), Grace Notshokovu (George Municipality), Cllr Khayalethu Lose. At the back are Ethan Stoffels (George Mun), Bonisile Desha (Programme Director), Cllr Joslyn Johnson (GRDM), Cllr Iona Kritzinger (George Mun), Aldm Memory Booysen (GRDM), Aldm Leon van Wyk (George Mun), Cllr Erica Brown ( George Mun), Tanja Botha (George Mun), Karin Stoffels (George Mun) and Radie Loubser (George Mun).

Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of the GRDM, said in his address that we will show the rest of South Africa, starting in George, that we can be the safest, cleanest district in the country. Booysen said the project will be rolled out to the rest of the district and he, the Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) pledges his continuous support to this operation.

Radie Loubser, Senior Manager: Environmental Services at George Municipality said he is an advocate to get the communities involved together with the buy-in of councillors. He said people should be made aware of the problem through the help of councillors. Dumping is illegal and a big health hazard.

Loubser said people should be informed and educated on the problem and how to address it and law enforcement should enforce punishment with the issuing of fines.

A presentation was made by Johan Gie, Waste Management at GRDM where the challenges, requirements and costs of the project were explained. A video clip where locals were interviewed, was part of the presentation shown. The video clip showed community members who have started cleaning their own neighbourhoods. It was also clear that many residents are unhappy with the current state their communities are in and they are ready to blow the whistle on illegal dumpers.

REPORT ILLEGAL DUMPING
What is illegal dumping?
Illegal dumping is anything you throw away in a place where it does not
belong.
· If you know who is dumping illegally, report them to 044 801 6350 or
sprins@george.gov.za or 044 801 6300 (a/h).
· Information that will help the case for a warning or fine: car description
and/or registration number, address of alleged perpetrator, type of waste
and address of where it was dumped. A cellphone photo of dumping in
action will help, but is not essential.
· Report dumped waste for collection to 044 802 2900 or 044 801 6300
(a/h).

ILLEGAL DUMPING IS EVERYBODY’S PROBLEM
If you throw your junk just anywhere, it will eventually become your
problem some way or another. It can make you sick or kill you.
REFUSE REMOVAL: GENERAL
· Households may put out seven black, four green and an unlimited number
of blue bags. Additional tied bundles of branches are allowed if they are
shorter than a metre in length and can be picked up by one person.
· BLUE bags are for non-soiled recyclable materials, including plastic, paper,
cardboard, glass etc.
· GREEN bags are for green waste, including organic kitchen waste such as
fruit and vegetable peels, as well as garden waste, including grass cuttings,
leaves etc. No soil is allowed in green bags.
· BLACK bags are for ‘wet’ waste, things that cannot be recycled.
· All refuse bags must be put out by 7am on removal day. Please don’t put
bags out the day or night before removal.
· Please wrap broken glass in newspaper before placing in bags to prevent
injuries to workers.
· A pack of 26 black bags are distributed to households quarterly.
· Blue and green bags are collected on the same day as black bag refuse
removal but not at the same time. A separate trip is made for the
collection of the blue bags. Participating households will receive two blue
and two green replacement bags.
· Households or businesses that are actively recycling and require additional
green or blue bags, can collect from the municipality Environmental
Services department at 82 Meade Street.

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20 years ago Herman and his wife Carina, with their 2 daughters moved to George in the beautiful Garden Route region of South Africa. He has a passion for the people of the region and is involved in many humanitarian projects. He is co-owner of the popular Facebook group called Georgiete Staan Saam with a membership of 71 000. He is a connector and an activist for unity and works tirelessly to help all communities in George and the Garden Route to realise that the answer for the political, business and socio-economical problems of the area is to stand together, plan together and working together at a common sustainable goal of alleviating poverty. Herman is the CEO of the Love Garden Route NPC and is one of the founders of the Love George movement. He is the owner and founder of the LoveGeorge News platform and the online radio stations RadioCSA. For 30 years Herman specializes in web development and web design and through his business also offer web-hosting, email-hosting and domain-hosting. As a Pastor he has presented over 40 men's and women's camps where the main focus is to assist and guide Christians in discovering their true calling and then activate them into their true Prophetic and Apostolic calling.