The Need-To-Know Implications of Illegal Dumping In SA


Illegal dumping is developing South Africa’s bad habit – and one it just can’t seem to shake as its infrastructure continues to grow. With rubble generation at an all-time high, responsible building practice protocol is faced with the immense task of solving one, difficult question: where do we put all the extra stuff?


The problem with a developing infrastructure is often that processes meant to tackle such issues have yet to be put in place (requiring a developed infrastructure – whatever is being built often precedes and facilitates protocols that come after, after all). That’s why illegal dumping is such a contentious issue in some of South Africa’s biggest cities. Cape Town and Johannesburg, especially, seem to suffer its negative impacts, but were also pressured into contriving counter measures to curb the issue. Amendments to Waste Management legislation, for example, is constantly being made, adapting by-laws that regulate illegal dumping to be more a more effective deterrent to this crime.


In Cape Town, the latest legal intervention permits the impounding of vehicles used for illegal dumping.  As of last month, the amendment is responsible for more than a hundred impounded vehicles whose drivers were fined R 5,000.00, as well as an impoundment release fee of R 7,500.00 These measures seem to be successful, but only represent one front of our country’s efforts to encourage best practice waste disposal. Where penalties of heavy fines on those responsible for illegal dumping discourage the act, it still hasn’t stomped it out completely and although these funds contribute to the immense costs of cleaning up sites subject to illegal dumping, they don’t come close to making a difference in curbing this epidemic. A more pervasive intervention is needed.


Big cities’ efforts to stop illegal dumping thus has to be a multidimensional approach that tackles all levels of society. Awareness campaigns that illustrate the socio-political consequences and environmental impact of illegal dumping is one alternative approach that involves the pubic as a whistle-blower for illegal dumping instances; devising campaigns aimed at promoting a best practice waste removal culture is another.


When illegal dumping becomes the industry’s first response to solving the problem of waste disposal in a big city, it undermines the sense of community for all its inhabitants. According to some, it also encourages lawless behaviour as a result – illegal dumping is, after all, a blatant act of disregard for the property of others. Luckily, rubble removal can be tackled by the professionals that help reclaim a site that has been abused by illegal dumping – make use of dumping services in Gauteng to help you reclaim your property!

  • Partner links