A Community Monitors Investigation into the Waste Crisis in Sekhukhune, October – November 2021

In our investigation we observed two items that made up a large part of the items dumped . This was Diapers and Bottles . We realised that the large amounts of dumping these items , was a serious threat to our health and environment and something must be done soon , Here is what we found in our r investigation

Disposal Baby Diapers

We found diapers in all the waste piles we looked at.

We calculated that one child used at least 4 diapers a day. This means that that child will use 120 diapers a month and 1440 diapers a year. According to Statistics SA there are over 4000 children under four in the Sekhukhune district. If only 2000 children are using diapers each year this means that 2, 880,000 diapers are dumped each year in Sekhukhune

This causes us to fear. what will happen the next 20 years since the use of diapers increasing every day . We imagine the mountain of dirt in years to come which will cause the diseases that will affect human animals and environment badly.

More people are using diapers because the prices are low. None SABS approved diapers  which are sold in the Spaza shops has made diapers affordable for everyone.

Beer Bottles

The second item we saw dumped in large quantities was beer bottles

The number of liquor selling outlets have increased since the start of mining in our areas. That is retail shops, shebeens etc.

Large number of taverns where there are migrant workers . Every village has many taverns

We estimate that each Tavern sells about 500- 700 glass bottles of beer a month. The 330 ml bottles are consumed more that the 750ml ones and you can see them in transparent, green and  brown bottles all over. 750ml bottles are used when buying again but the 330ml bottles are not.

A tavern owner explained  that his customers prefer the non-returnable 330ml bottle .After sales and consumption of liquor, they (him and his employees) collect the bottles and put them in a hole dug next to the bottle store because the liqueur suppliers only collect the 750ml ones.

One tavern owner commented

“ I sell alcohol and just making a living. I can’t control people not to litter anywhere, yes you may find bottles even along the streets. I collect only in my space after morning and put the bottles one side.”

Sekhukhune Residents – Please add views to this story. Is this a very big problem. What do you feel the community can do about it.. Please WhatsApp your comments to : +27 79 623 5248