Smouldering refuse leaves residents disgusted

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GK CRONJE

20 September 2022

For months, residents and businesses have complained about refuse skip bins not being emptied, but instead being set alight.

The lack of effective law enforcement in Ermelo has long been a thorn in the sides of residents and businesses, especially with regards to council properties. The issue of effective refuse removal and management had also come under the spotlight recently, with the Pet Dam, residential wards and the CBD being a veritable pigsty, flooded in refuse.

For months, residents and businesses have complained about refuse skip bins not being emptied, but instead being set alight. The resulting smog is of great frustration, not to mention the health hazards. Ignored complaints of vagrants that have settled in a dilapidated public restroom at a popular shopping complex in the CBD also takes its toll, and these individuals, as well as the ghastly state of the area, are slowly creeping under the skin of surrounding residents and businesses. “I can't open the windows to my flat anymore, because the soot and smoke from the perpetually smouldering skip bins, along with the piles of refuse set alight on a near-daily basis, engulf my residence. The smell chokes us, and the smell from the building makes you nauseated,” a resident complained.
Businesses in the area also suffer, with the parking area being littered with all manner of refuse, and shady characters lurking about, wringing their idle hands.

“The vagrants are a big issue. One feels unsafe if you are constantly watched by drug-addled individuals every second of every day. You worry about your vehicle's wellbeing, you worry about being mugged. It's extremely stressful. Some days there are individuals openly abusing substances at this building, and no action is taken,” lamented another. On scene, the stench of urine and feaces, coupled with the piles of refuse lining the interior of the vandalized building is overwhelming, with the Tribune noting at least six different individuals entering and exiting the building, while clearly acting nervous and erratic. An enquiry had been sent to Msukaligwa Local Municipality regarding this issue, as well as the removal of refuse, which is being neglected. The municipal spokesman, Mandla Zwane, failed to provide feedback to enquiries lodged.

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