THE City of Cape Town plans to crack down harder on culprits who litter and dump waste, with fines of up to R20 000 and jail time being considered.
The hefty fines are for third-time offenders; in cases involving aggravated or dangerous circumstances, they can also be sentenced to two years in prison.
The City's Mayco member for Urban Waste Management, Grant Twigg wants to give the City’s litter laws more bite.
Under the City's current anti-littering and dumping legislation, first-time offenders face a fine of up to R8 700, while those breaking the law a third time could receive a fine of R17 400.
“Littering makes the beautiful Mother City look like a dump yard," Twigg told Weekend Argus.
"It’s not only harmful to the environment, but it's scaring tourists off and it costs a fortune for us to clean it up."
Twigg said the City empties bins in busy areas every day, adding that residents have no reason not to use the garbage bins.
“If a bin is full, find another or take your rubbish home with you.”
The City defines litter as any waste produce disposed of in a public area and not in litter containers.
“It is illegal to drop, throw, deposit, spill, dump, store, discard, or otherwise dispose of any litter or waste into or onto any public place, or on any place to which the public has access.”
This includes municipal drains, vacant property, open land, streets, roads, wetlands and the coastline.
Twigg said his new proposed fines were not yet signed into law and are “actually proposals”.
Green Connection welcomed Twigg’s proposal.
According to research done by the Central City Improvement District (CCID) and the City of Cape Town, the CCID, on average, sweeps and collects 2 400 kg of litter from the streets of central Cape Town every week.
“It costs the CCID R30 000 per day to clean the Cape Town CBD, which amounts to nearly R11m per year,” said CCID chief executive officer Tasso Evangelinos.
“This is on top of the mass waste removal done by the City of Cape Town through the emptying of black wheelie and green street-pole municipal bins.”