Modernisation of Rural Communities: Solid Waste Management Implication




solid waste, urbanisation, municipality, rural communities, socio-economic


Solid waste management is a global challenge, particularly in economically developing countries due to their growing population, urbanisation, and increasing waste generation. Municipalities in South Africa are responsible for general waste management in both residential areas and industrial sites. However, waste management is not implemented in all rural areas of South Africa, even against the background of socioeconomic improvement and increased consumption patterns in these communities. This study aims to examine the relationship between rural socioeconomic conditions and solid waste generation and management. The target population of this study is five rural communities of the Vulindlela area, which is situated west of Msunduzi Municipality in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. A total of 50 households were randomly selected as sample sites as the result of a detailed field survey in 2022 and 50 respondents participated in the study for interview through cluster sampling technique. The study uses a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods. Primary data about the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents were gathered through close-ended questions. Open-ended questions in the semi-structured interviews were utilised to gather data on Vulindlela residents’ perceptions of waste pollution effects and strategies implemented in their area. Microsoft Excel version 2305 was used to perform basic descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages) to examine the socio-economic characteristics of respondents. While a thematic content analysis was undertaken to analyse the open-ended question data which was on respondents’ perceptions of waste pollution in their area. The study findings suggest that Vulindlela is a socioeconomically diverse rural community, with households earning between 500 and 31,000 Rand per month. In addition, grocery expenditures range from 800 to 3100 Rand per month. Communities characterised by lower income generation dispose of their waste inside their households, apart from certain waste such as nappies that are disposed of in freshwater ecosystems and open spaces, while those who earn more money have diverse waste types and dispose of their waste at illegal dump sites.


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How to Cite

Zondi, N., Qwatekana, Z. . and Dube, S. . (2023) “Modernisation of Rural Communities: Solid Waste Management Implication”, African Journal of Inter/Multidisciplinary Studies, 5(1), pp. 1–11. doi: 10.51415/ajims.v5i1.1149.