The state of Mpumalanga’s landfill sites

AfriForum audited 127 landfill sites in all nine provinces this year as part of a national project to measure the standard of landfill sites in South Africa.

Only 5 out of 25 landfill sites that were audited in Mpumalanga met 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 meet particular standards.

This is how the landfill sites compare:

Best Percentage Worst Percentage
Middelburg 92% Standerton 0%
White River 80% Breyten 0%
Arnot 75% Evander 0%
Nelspruit 74% Morgenzon 0%
    Dullstroom 4%
    Bethal 10%

The audit consists of a list of 33 questions that measure the minimum requirements for landfill sites in South Africa based on factors such as access control, fires, medical waste, fencing and rehabilitation. A landfill site must score at least 80% to comply with legislation.

According to Bronwen Pretorius, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Highveld, most of the landfill sites in Mpumalanga are in a shocking state. “This can be attributed mainly to a lack of maintenance equipment.”

Hennie Bekker, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Lowveld, adds that the lack of waste management licences remains one of the biggest problems. “The problem is exacerbated when striking municipal officials close the dumping sites and the municipalities illegally dump the waste elsewhere.”

“Moreover, when service providers change, it can have a major impact on the dumping sites’ conditions. One such change occurred in Middelburg, which had a significant negative impact from 2018 onwards,” Bekker says.

AfriForum branches will apply pressure to authorities in their areas to establish waste monitoring committees to improve the waste management process. These committees should comprise municipalities and interested parties who want to improve waste management in the various towns.

The audit report will also be submitted 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.

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