Poor landfill site management: AfriForum wins court case with cost

AfriForum’s Naboomspruit branch today in the North-Gauteng High Court won a court case with cost against the Lim 368 Local Municipality regarding the poor manner in which the Naboomspruit landfill site is managed.

AfriForum approached the court in 2016 already after a number of complaints were received from residents over the poor management and poor condition of the landfill site. The landfill site also did not comply with licence requirements, which led to the pollution of ground water. The court case took place on 10 October 2017 and judgement was withheld.

In the court documents AfriForum demand that the municipality bring the landfill site up to standard as required by the licence. Today’s court ruling stipulates the following:

  • All refuse must be removed in an environmentally friendly manner.
  • Drainage systems must be built to separate and relay run-off from the landfill site.
  • Within five days of the court order water tests must be conducted at all boreholes, streams and rivers and sent to accredited laboratories for analysis.
  • Tests of leach must be done on the landfill site itself and then sent to an accredited laboratory for analysis.
  • An operational plan, explaining how rehabilitation of the landfill site will take place, must be compiled within 60 days.
  • Proper access control, as well as applicable notice boards at the landfill site as stipulated in the licence, must be implemented within two weeks.
  • The landfill site must be fenced within one year as stipulated in the licence.

According to Jaco Grobbelaar, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for Limpopo, the ruling is a definite victory for AfriForum, but he also says that continuous pressure must be apply on the municipality to ensure favourable results. “This court ruling forces the municipality to improve the landfill site, but it is our job to see to it that this takes place in a sustainable manner.

“The ruling is also a good indicator for other communities, who experience the same problems, to stand up for their rights and hold municipalities accountable for fulfilling their duties,” Grobbelaar adds.

“AfriForum is overjoyed over the court ruling, because it paves the way for similar cases. It also strengthens AfriForum’s annual landfill site audit project, which was the reason for this court application. AfriForum will apply continuous pressure on the municipality to ensure that the court order is adhered to,” says Chris Boshoff, AfriForum’s Coordinator for Environmental Affairs.

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