Large quantities of pharmaceuticals were recently disposed of in a field in Nellmapius. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Large quantities of pharmaceuticals were recently disposed of in a field in Nellmapius. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Nellmapius community horror at illegal dumping of medication

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Apr 26, 2021

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Pretoria - Even though the City of Tshwane is forging ahead with its campaign of clearing illegal dumping sites, the Nellmapius community has decried the recent dumping of medicines in vacant land in the area.

Community members were left shocked and angry and have called for immediate intervention, after children were found playing with drugs allegedly dumped in the area by an unknown bakkie.

Resident Johanna Taylor said they found the street lined white with crushed medicines which the children were playing with, and when they asked them where they found it, they were told it had been dumped in nearby vacant land in the area.

Taylor said they found piles of drugs, most of which were still in sealed packages, and only due to expire next year.

“Initially we thought it was old and expired medicines, but as we inspected some of them we saw that they were yet to expire. It’s worrying because there’s medicine here for hypertension and even cholesterol which could have been of use somewhere.

“There’s a lot of children here and they like to play around, so our main concern is for their safety … what if they consumed some of these pills? Something has to be done to put a stop to this, we want to know who, why and what will be done.”

Another resident, Rosy Elskie, said a member of the community sprayed the medicines off the street with water and alerted the rest of them.

Taylor said they were on the lookout for the illegal dumpers and were determined to catch them in the act.

“It’s a scary thing that is going on here because mothers aren’t always on the streets with their children. We try to report the dumping to the City, but as soon as it’s cleared it’s back again. The community also contributes to illegal dumping though.”

Another resident said they had all but given up on the people in charge to make a change, but things were not helped by the fact that everybody was always looking out for themselves and their family.

In November, the City of Tshwane launched a campaign to rid the municipality of illegal dumping sites, with Tshwane mayor Randall Williams reporting a month later that they were making inroads with eradicating the 600 identified illegal sites.

Williams’ sentiments were echoed by Tshwane community safety MMC Karen Meyer, who reiterated the promise to crack down on illegal dumpers through the deployment of Tshwane Metro Police officers to known hot spots.

Meyer said the council was still continuing with its bid to rid the City of illegal dumping and would do so until the problem was significantly eradicated.

The City would also continue to issue fines for illegal dumping to perpetrators caught red-handed, she said.

Meyer said while metro officers were only issuing fines, calls were also made to the environmental department to clear up sites as there was a combined effort by both departments to deal with this matter.

Pretoria News

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