By SIVENATHI GOSA and MADELEINE CHAPUT
ILLEGAL dumping in one of the oldest residential areas in East London, West Bank, has become a growing concern for residents.
Debbie and Keith Wilcox have been living with heaps of rubbish piled up against the East London harbour’s boundary opposite their Dale Street home.
“It is disgusting. People have just kept dumping and BCM are doing nothing,” Debbie said.
After months of having refuse piling up, the couple decided to take matters into their own hands by loading their trailer with the illegally dumped trash and travelling to the Berlin dumpsite in their little green Uno.
“We have already been there twice and we have another trailer load waiting to be taken to the dumpsite, but we can’t make the trip there again. The terrain is just too bad,” Keith said.
The couple’s Uno struggled on the rough road to the Berlin dumpsite, which is the closest official dumpsite for East London, costing them punctured tyres.
Although illegal dumping opposite the Wilcox home has slowed down since a security company began doing shifts, certain parts of West Bank are still in shambles.
“People are dumping rubbish wherever they can as Berlin is just too far and difficult to get to. Something needs to be done for the West Bank area. You should see how bad the race track is,” said Keith.
Other residents are also concerned about the deteriorating state of the suburb, including a woman who has been living there for 26 years.
The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, spoke to the Go! reporter this week.
She listed a range of concerns, including illegal dumping near the library, saying that although such matters were being reported to the Buffalo City Municipality, nothing was being done.
Other concerns included the lack of a nearby shopping centre which made it difficult for people to do shopping or even draw money from an ATM.
“We feel abandoned by BCM. My only wish is for the municipality to look into the illegal dumping, as we are living in filthy, unhygienic conditions – and also to do something about the potholes,” she said.
Comment from BCM spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya, ward 19 councillor Richard Rooy and community leader Chumasande Mpafi had not been received at the time of going to press.