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Landfill audit: Gauteng not up to par

The civil rights organisation AfriForum audited 161 landfills nationwide this year as part of their national project to determine the condition of landfills in South Africa.

Only 7 out of 14 landfills that could be audited in Gauteng met the national standards. In terms of applicable legislation and regulations, including the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008, all landfills must meet specific requirements.

This is how the landfills in Gauteng compare:

According to Dewet Ungerer, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for Greater Pretoria South, most landfills in Gauteng are in an acceptable condition when measured against the national requirements. “Some landfills in Gauteng are managed and maintained well, and it is safe for members of the public to use these facilities. Unfortunately, there are two sides to the coin; other landfills in Gauteng are in a dire state. This can be attributed to mismanagement, non-payment of contractors and illegal activities.”

“The most common problem that AfriForum’s branches in Gauteng noticed during the audit was the zama zamas’ illegal mining activities that are becoming a huge threat. Furthermore, the ruling party’s mismanagement of landfills adds to the problem and is a major source of concern as the municipal officials of Gauteng are not being held accountable,” concludes Ungerer.

The situation can be attributed to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE), which is controlled by three different spheres of government. The national department only has the power to establish laws, policies, norms, and standards at a national level, but they have no power at a provincial or municipal level. The province reports to the provincial MEC, not to the minister. The lack of communication between Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and the DFFE causes another challenge.

Click here to read the full report or contact Dewet Ungerer for a high-resolution report.

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