Eastern Cape’s landfill sites a disaster

AfriForum this year audited 162 landfill sites nationwide as part of this organisation’s national project to measure the quality of landfills in South Africa.

Not one of the six landfills audited in the Eastern Cape have met national standards. In terms of applicable legislation and regulations, including the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008, a landfill must meet certain requirements.

According to David Olivier, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Eastern Cape, most landfill sites in the Eastern Cape are in a terrible condition. “This can mainly be attributed to a lack of will by the municipalities to adhere to the standards. Due to mismanagement there is lack of funds to spend on landfill sites. The subsequent pollution of nature that takes place is a disaster.”

Olivier says that the most common problems that AfriForum encountered during the audit were the absence of waste management licenses and a total mismanagement of sites. A major part of the problem is that incompetent people are appointed to manage the sites and thus the necessary knowledge is absent.

Municipal deterioration is rampant and it is noticeable that especially smaller municipalities are subject to large-scale mismanagement.

In the last two years, AfriForum has met on several occasions with Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs, and her team. From the meetings it was clear that there was insufficient communication between national, provincial and local authorities. This is proof that cooperative government and traditional affairs (Cogta) and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs do not communicate with each other.

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