Residents of Philippi Block 8 are furious about the rotting waste piling up on open spaces in the area.
Dustbins have not been emptied for a month because refuse collectors were prevented from doing their jobs by protesters who felt they should have been employed to do the work.
Block 8 residents have resorted to dumping their waste in the open spaces and this has left a bad stench in the area. Among the dumped items are a mattress, cardboard, tins, nappies, alcohol bottles, car tyres and children’s play equipment.
According to a nearby resident, refuse collectors had been barred from the area by a group whose own contract to work had expired.
She said the protesters alleged that the new workers were not from the area.
Nomsa Ndebe, who lives right next to a dumping spot, is fed up with people throwing their dirt next to her house, a crèche and at the park.
“We inhale dirty air on a daily basis. This is bad because I cannot even open my house.
“It is difficult to eat in these conditions. But the worst part is that it exposes children to diseases. Children play everywhere they like. With this one, it is next to a park and crèche, you can imagine,” she said.
Ms Ndebe said dogs sniff in the mess and pull out soiled items such as baby nappies. She said whoever was in charge should resolve the issue before children get sick.
Another resident, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said it was heartbreaking to see people dumping their dirt near the playing park of their children. She said the situation is so bad that everyone around the park could soon get sick.
“This should not be allowed at all. The fighting of these workers must come to an end so that the refuse can be collected. “The sooner it is collected, the better for us all,”she said.
“It is worse in the open space because it stinks and it is where we wait for taxis.
“What is heartbreaking is that we get charged on our bills for rubbish collection, but they don’t come and collect it.
“There is a possibility that they will not come next week since they didn’t come this week, but they don’t decrease the amount of money they charge us since they miss some collection days.
“When we go dump our rubbish in the open space we get arrested, it is really annoying,” she said. When Vukani visited the area on Sunday August 20, the stench was overwhelming and many passers-by simply added more trash to the heap. The passersby were not scared to throw more things on the space. Ward 8 councillor Nkululeko Mgolombane said the impasse was being resolved. He apologised to people living near the space but said they needed to be part of the solution. He said the cleaning company would continue working until a new tender was awarded.