AFTER moving into a new house, Karabo noticed that the empty yard next to his house was being used as a garbage dump.

The garbage kept blowing into his yard because people just threw it on the ground and there was no fence.

Frustrated by this, Karabo tried to talk to the local councillor about removing the litter, but nothing came of it.

AZIKHIPHI! That’s not on!

As a Scorpion Legal Protection policyholder, Karabo contacted them to find out what his legal options were.

What does the law say?

The White Paper on Integrated Pollution Management for South Africa of 2000 states that littering is an environmentally and socially unacceptable practice.

Section 24 of the Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution gives every person the right to live in a healthy environment.

In terms of Section 27(2) of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008 this means that no person may throw, dump, spill or in any other way discard any litter in any public place to which the general public has access i.e. vacant land, stream, watercourse, road, except in a container or a place specifically provided for that purpose.

Can Karabo’s neighbour be punished for littering in public?

The above laws prohibit people from littering, and if they do, they are failing to comply with the law.

Conviction of this crime will result in the offender having to pay a fine of up to R5 million or go to jail for no longer than five years.

Six ways to prevent public littering

) Talk to the person directly.

) Call the police and report the illegal dumping to them.

) Put up security cameras or take photo evidence that you can show to the police when you report illegal dumping.

) Put up a sign that says “Private Property. No Illegal Dumping”.

) Put up a fence to prevent people from dumping in your yard.

How to strike back

With the paralegal assistance that Scorpion provides its policyholders, Karabo can get the right information and help put a stop to the illegal dumping.

Scorpion Legal Protection can assist policyholders with similar queries.

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