Diepsloot residents take matters into their own hands

This area in Diepsloot Extension 1 was cleaned up after illegal dumping by residents.


Community members of Diepsloot are tired of the filth in their area.

They conducted a clean-up last month in a bid to stop littering and illegal dumping, and invited Pikitup to get involved by providing recycling bins and a skip in the area.

Malesela Mathibela said, “Community members started cleaning the pedestrian bridge between Extention 1 and 2. Our campaign, Topa Lenna Matlakala, which means, ‘help me pick up litter’, started after we saw that dumping was a growing trend in our extension. Pikitup was not doing much to help with the amount of garbage… in the area.”

Diepsloot residents pose next to the ‘no dumping’ notice board which they have placed next to the area they recently cleaned up.

Mathibela said the dumping caused rat infestations and they approached Pikitup to provide a skip at the illegal dumping site as well as recycling bins in the area. “At the moment, community members have to carry their garbage from their homes and when they get to the taxi rank they dump it at the illegal dumping site as it is close to the taxi rank,” explained Mathibela.

The municipality provided a ‘no dumping’ sign which the residents had fetch themselves.

“We took it upon ourselves to clean up the [dumping] area. [However] community members kept on dumping in the area as there weren’t any recycling bins or skips near the taxi rank like there are in other areas in Diepsloot.” Other parts of Diepsloot have skips and recycling bins while Extension 1 and 2, don’t.

Read Illegal waste dumpers warned

Mathibela said they invited City representatives to the cleanup and were disappointed when no one turned up. “To have City representatives… present at the cleanup was important to us and by them not pitching, it made us see our community is not a priority,” he said.

Illegal dumping in Diepsloot Extension 1.

“Our campaign’s future plan is to come up with a solution… so that the area that is now a dumping site can be converted into a recreational park.”

He and his team, together with Joburg City Parks, are busy drafting a plan. “We wish to keep Diepsloot clean, and after this clean-up, hopefully, other extensions will do the same. We hope this becomes an ongoing campaign.”

The spokesperson of Pikitup, Muzi Mkhwanazi, said they appreciated such pro-active initiatives from residents to keep their areas clean. “For Pikitup to participate in such initiatives there is a procedure to be followed. Requests are made by councillors to the office of the Regional Director.

“The Regional Director would draw up a list of scheduled campaigns and forward the list for participation to Pikitup. The information about the scheduled campaigns is then communicated to all stakeholders by ward inspectors.

“Pikitup was not informed through the [correct] channels to participate in the said clean-up campaign, thus, regrettably, its non-participation.”

The rubbish piles up in Diepsloot Extension 1.

Residents can still make a request through their councillors, which will be considered if the correct procedure is followed.

Read Mashaba rubbishes claims of privatising Pikitup

“Pikitup has placed 13 communal skip bins in the area. This is over and above… the buy-back centre in the area… available for recycling purposes. There is no record of an additional skip bin request from the community,” Mkhwanazi added.

Ward 95 councillor, Kate Mphahle was approached for comment on 23 February. By the time of publication, she had not responded yet.

Filler: Are there any other areas you think need some cleaning up? Share your views on the Fourways Review Facebook page

Masego Seemela

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