The dumping of contaminated Beacon sweets on the banks of the Palmiet River near Clare Estate, Durban, is a cause for concern as kids easily access the site.
A concerned community member, Thomas Hart, posted on his Facebook page a pile of garbage containing the sweets, and in the frame a young boy is seen carrying a container and picking up the sweets.
Hart said there was over a ton of sweets dumped on the river bank.
Hart said in the post:
These sweets are being eaten by kids. Is Beacon going to be responsible if any of these kids fall sick, are hospitalised or die? … Why does everyone I interview who dumps here say this is an approved dump site by the municipality? After five years of reporting this illegal dump site and even telling the cops on [last] Friday of the illegal dumping, nothing has been done.
On Wednesday, Tiger Brands operational director Phil De Jager said the last time they see the factory’s waste product is when it is delivered to the waste disposal company contracted to them.
“We have an agreement with the company that they dispose of the waste in appropriate designated areas without exposing communities to it. We don’t have details of the site you are referring to but I’ll speak to the relevant manager to get to the bottom of this,” he said.
On Thursday, he said his company was working with its supplier responsible for waste disposal at its facility in the KZN area to determine the circumstances surrounding the reports of illegal dumping of products at the site identified in the social media post.
The company follows due process to ascertain that service providers are compliant on all fronts, before they are able to manage waste that is generated at any of our sites. In addition, suppliers are required to provide safe disposal records for all waste removed from company sites to confirm that waste was disposed of in a compliant manner.
eThekwini spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said illegal dumping is a challenge all cities in the country face, however, businesses and residents have a responsibility to dispose of waste in a responsible manner.
“We are on record as sending messages out there, trying to inculcate responsibility in regards to illegal dumping … A team was sent to investigate but could not spot the exact location. Whoever is found responsible for this unlawful conduct will face the full might of our by-laws.”