AfriForum audited 127 landfill sites in all nine provinces this year as part of its national project to measure the standard of landfill sites in South Africa.
None of the 20 landfill sites that were audited in the Free State have adhered to national standards. In terms of applicable legislation and regulations, including the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act no. 59 of 2008), a landfill site must adhere to particular standards.
This is how the Free State’s landfill sites fared:
The audit consists of a list of 33 questions that measure the minimum requirements for landfill sites in South Africa and includes factors such as access control, fires, medical waste, fencing and rehabilitation. A landfill site must obtain at least 80% to comply with legislation.
According to Jp Nel, AfriForum’s Assistant Coordinator for the Highland region, the landfill sites in the Free State are in a shameful state. “All landfill sites audited are in a shameful condition – only one landfill site received more than 50%. This can be attributed mainly to poor management by the municipalities, as well as non-enforced laws and regulations. In some cases there are sites that are not maintained at all and where garbage lies kilometres outside the site.”
Nel adds that the lack of waste management licences, medical waste which was illegally dumped on the landfill site as well as poor control and management of the sites are some of the biggest problems AfriForum noticed during this audit.
AfriForum branches will also apply pressure on authorities in their areas to establish waste monitoring committees to improve the waste management process. These committees will consist of municipalities and interested parties wanting to improve waste management in a particular town.
The audit report will also be handed over to the Green Scorpions for further investigation and action against guilty municipalities. AfriForum will continuously monitor the process to ensure that landfill sites are brought to standard.