Community Alerts/ Olebogeng Motene/Rustenburg/03/09/2018

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On the 30th August, I spent a day in Ikemeleng informal settlement located in Kroondal. This informal settlement is comprised by former farm workers, mine workers and people seeking employment in local mines. I arrived in Ikemeleng at 13:00 until 18:00 pm as that’s the pick period to observe the pollution taking place in the settlement. We started off by identifying main dumpsite hotspots, what is found in the hotspots, who and what does if affects. We also identified people to interview on the upcoming week.

We identified 2 hotspots which are below the two bridges built over the manmade stream which is created by the overflow from one the mine’s tailings (Sibanye and Glencore). We identified that there is mostly domestic waste varying from plastics, papers, tins, bottles (glass and plastic), diapers, vegetables, fruits, dead animals and other waste materials. By 15:00pm while walking down the stream we saw young school kids probably 5 and 6 years old collecting boxes from this dumpsite, when I asked them why are they collecting waste materials they quickly dropped few of the waste and spoke against one who was clearly the youngest that she should not touch the waste as it’s dangerous and they walked off. They were collecting boxes for their school project.

Around 17:00 pm most domestic animals(goats and pigs) made their way to the stream to graze as there is always reeds, vegetable and branches waste they can eat. However, they eat other waste materials such as diapers etc. There is a constant strong stench around this area. In the upcoming week, we will investigate the health impact this has on the community, who should be collecting the community waste etc. By Olebogeng Motene