AfriForum audited 153 landfill sites across South Africa this year as part of the organisation’s national project to measure the quality of landfill sites in South Africa.
Only 9 out of 17 landfill sites that were audited in Gauteng complied with national standards. In terms of applicable legislation and regulations, including the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008, all landfill sites must comply with specific requirements.
According to Sampie Steinberg, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for Greater Pretoria North, most of the landfill sites in Gauteng are in an average state. “More than 50% of the landfill sites are in an acceptable condition, but the rest are in a terrible condition. This creates great uncertainty for the future of our landfill sites in the next five years.”
Steinberg says the most common problems that AfriForum identified during the audit included a complete mismanagement of sites and the so-called picker system that exists on all sites and is increasing. The mismanagement of landfill sites creates a major deterioration of landfill sites, which contributes to more illegal dumping of rubbish in communities.
Municipal deterioration is rampant and it is noticeable that especially smaller municipalities are subject to large-scale mismanagement.
AfriForum met with Barbara Creecy, Minister of Environmental Affairs, and her team on various occasions. Six landfill sites were identified that the Department will tackle in cooperation with AfriForum to bring these up to standard again. AfriForum will also focus on solving problems at certain landfill sites in the province in cooperation with the relevant municipality. The organisation will apply pressure to get these sites up to standard. AfriForum will monitor the situation closely to ensure that these sites’ standards improve sufficiently.