Nemato children living on refuse

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    LIKE MANNA FROM HEAVEN: For Siphokazi Mxuma, a 25-year-old mother of a baby girl, finding an intact apple while scavenging for food on the Port Alfred municipal dump is something to celebrate Picture: LOUISE KNOWLES
    LIKE MANNA FROM HEAVEN: For Siphokazi Mxuma, a 25-year-old mother of a baby girl, finding an intact apple while scavenging for food on the Port Alfred municipal dump is something to celebrate Picture: LOUISE KNOWLES

    LESS than a kilometre from the streets and houses of Nemato, nestled in the vale below the opposite hill, is the Port Alfred municipal dump, which serves as a larder for hungry, outcast and truant children.

    Following a Facebook post and appeal by a Port Alfred resident, TotT visited the dump and finding the road past 43 Air School impassable, due to the fact that it is being re-paved, this reporter went the back way through Nemato.

    The dump is frequented by many men, women and children and despite the presence of a recycling hangar, appeared totally unregulated.

    The front gate was open and the fence was down in several areas.  Cows grazed and dogs sniffed through the rubbish alongside the ghostly human figures.

    Recycler Molwabisi Duruwe said he was taking his bags full of bottles and cans to the recycling plant and he would earn R80-R100 for five bags. He is also able to collect litre plastic bottles and cardboard and was very happy to receive a gift of a broken hot plate, which can be recycled.

    Duruwe pointed out the children on the dump who were missing school, standing on top of a hill.

    Siphokazi Mxuma, 25, and her three-year-old daughter Aphiwe were there with her brother and her husband. They had collected a bucket full of bread and vegetables and Mxuma was holding with delight onto an apple.

    Khayalethu Nzima, who posted photographs on Facebook of the people eking out a living at the dump, and expressed his concern for the young children there, hopes to get the provincial health department to intervene by limiting access and warning people of the health hazards of sifting through rubbish.

    In the meantime, he has had success in his appeal for clothing for the children at the dump, with several businesses and individuals donating items.

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