Coast KZN

20 Apr 2023

City counts cost of illegal dumping as scourge continues

Danica Hansen (Berea Mail) Picture: Litter and debris spill from the servitude on the boundary wall of Lantern Heath (seen behind).

Is Durban being ‘buried alive’ by refuse? As refuse and litter continue to pile up across the city, head of communications for the eThekwini Municipality, Lindiwe Khuzwayo, said illegal dumping is on the rise. Khuzwayo was responding to a query from Berea Mail after residents at Lantern Heath, a block of flats on Magwaza Maphalala Street, said their area had been turned into an illegal dumpsite.

On one side of Lantern Heath, residents said a servitude that runs along their boundary wall was being used as a public toilet and dump site while, on the other side of the property, refuse has piled up on the corner of Eaton Road and Magwaza Maphalala Street.

Commenting on the matter, Khyzwayo said, “It is unfortunate that eThekwini is currently facing a noticeable growth of illegal dumping activities. This could be due to various factors, such as the disregard of the waste by-laws as residents and businesses do not adhere to the rules. The illegal dumping challenges are prevalent throughout the City but are mostly concentrated in the informal, secluded and isolated areas.”

Adding to this, Khuzwayo said illegal dumping has an economic impact on the City.

“[Illegal dumping] discourages economic development because it impacts on real estate values; it affects tourism – visitors would not want to visit an area that has illegal dumps. Clean-up campaign costs are high – while these finances could be better utilised in delivering other desperately required services,” she said.


The corner of Eaton Road and Magwaza Maphalala Street has become an illegal dumpsite.

Not only this but health risks and concerns pile up at dump sites.

“Illegal dumps serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, rodents and cockroaches. Illegal dumps can harm the health of individuals by causing a range of diseases,” said Khuzwayo. She added that illegal dumps impact the environment and can lead to unclean air and contaminated soil and water.
“Dumped material may land up in the sea, rivers and streams,” she said.

Khuzwayo further noted the social impact of illegal dumping which can cause fire or lead to an increase in crime.

According to Khuzwayo, the City regularly conducts clean-up campaigns and has also encouraged residents to take part by adopting their spaces and keeping them clean.

“Clean-up campaigns are continuous, however, if the behaviour does not change, they will be fruitless. The City is urging residents to follow proper waste-management practices which include taking out refuse on collection days, avoiding littering and illegal dumping, reporting any illegal dumping, and using bins that are strategically placed in and around the City. For businesses to sign waste management contracts with the City and have their waste properly removed and disposed of in a correct manner. Society as a whole has a collective responsibility to keep the environment clean,” concluded Khuzwayo.

Khyuzwayo did not comment on the issues faced by residents of Lantern Heath.

The public is urged to report illegal dumping by calling 031 311 8804 or emailing