/ 26 December 2007

More defective condoms dumped in KZN

Another illegal dumping ground of tens of thousands of defective condoms has been found in KwaZulu-Natal, the provincial department of agriculture and environmental affairs said on Wednesday.

KwaZulu-Natal minister of agriculture and environmental affairs Mtholephi Mthimkhulu condemned the find in the Ngonweni area of Indwedwe, north of Durban.

Locals found the condoms strewn on the road near Ngonweni Primary School on the main road to Indwedwe on Christmas Day.

The discovery follows another of about 100 000 unused condoms scattered over a large area in the Ntande area on October 13 this year. The latest condoms seemed to come from the same batch as those found in October.

”An official of the department’s environment management inspectorate … visited the dump site and collected some evidence before proceeding to open a case docket at Inanda police station under section 30 of the Environmental Conservation Act, which outlaws the dumping of medically hazardous waste in any area other than a recognised and designated landfill site or incinerator,” said Mthimkhulu.

”I view this illegal dumping of such a health hazard material in a very serious light, hence I have already liaised with my colleague in the provincial executive council responsible for health, Neliswa Nkonyeni.”

He said the continuing disregard of health risks to residents of the area should not go unpunished and hoped the police investigations would help bring the culprits to book.

In October, local children had been seen playing with some of the defective condoms found then, which posed serious health risks.

Mthimkhulu at the time said it was not yet clear who had dumped the condoms in the area, but there were strong indications that it could have been done at night, likely by a contractor who was supposed to have transported the condom consignment to an incinerator for destruction.

In August, the national Health Department recalled 20-million potentially defective condoms approved by an official accused of taking bribes from a manufacturer. The condoms did not meet several standard tests for strength, pressure and lubrication.