Lockdown has been difficult for most people in South Africa, but residents in the South Durban Basin describe their experiences as tantamount to a health hostage situation as they are caught between polluted air from petrochemical industries and the COVID-19 virus. Nomfundo Xolo investigates.
On the ground in the Eastern Cape and from recent proceedings in parliament, it seems clear that there is a water management crisis in the OR Tambo District – a crisis with public health implications beyond just COVID-19.
Are waste service workers becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 through their work? Is handling household waste an occupational hazard? Are the precautionary measures introduced by municipalities sufficient? Professor Wolfgang Preiser explains the science and puts the risks in perspective.
Hundreds of people daily search for recyclable materials to sell and food to eat at Arlington and Uitenhage waste disposal sites in Port Elizabeth. Luvuyo Mehlwana spoke to waste pickers about their fears of contracting COVID-19 from waste and to experts about the risks of this happening.