The state of the Northern Cape’s landfill sites

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.

Only 2 out of 12 landfill sites that were audited in the Northern Cape 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 best landfill sites compare to the worst:

Best Percentage Worst Percentage
Kimberley 82% Hartswater 14%
Orania 80% Jan Kempdorp 10%
Aliwal-Noord 32% Elliot 6%
    Williston 4%
    Hopetown 2%


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 Lize-Mari Smit, AfriForum’s Coordinator for the Karoo, most of the landfill sites in the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape are in a shameful state. “Most landfill sites are in a shameful state and this can mainly be attributed to the lack of waste management and neglect to fix and upgrade infrastructures.”

Smit adds that the lack of waste management licences and waste which was illegally dumped on the landfill site were 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.

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