The state of KZN’s landfill sites

AfriForum audited 135 landfill sites nationwide this year as part of its national project to measure the standard of landfill sites in South Africa.

Only one of the eight landfill sites that were audited in KwaZulu-Natal adhered to national standards. In terms of applicable legislation and regulations, including the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008), a landfill site must adhere to specific standards.

This is how the best landfill sites compare to the worst:

Name of branch/landfill site Municipality/ Responsible authority Licence number Compliance score (%)
KwaZulu-Natal: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Hluhluwe The Big Five False Bay LM 24 0 20 2 0
Margate Ray Nkonyeni LM 16/2/7/T402/DS/Z1/P26/A1 70 96 96
Newcastle Newcastle LM 16/2/7/3V301/B2/Y2/P476 80 80 80 88 60
Paulpietersburg eDumbe LM 4 16 14 10 14 4
Pongola uPhongolo LM DC26/WML/0001/2014 68 54 68 52 38
Richards Bay uMhlathuze LM B33/2/2112/006/P245 60
Utrecht eMadlangeni LM 32 68 16 7 0 12
Vryheid AbaQulusi LM 40 32 41 24 3 6

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, rehabilitation etc. A landfill site must obtain at least 80% to comply with legislation.

According to Eugene van Aswegen, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for KwaZulu-Natal, most of the landfill sites in the province are in a shameful state which can mainly be attributed to the fact that local governments are neglecting this important service. “It seems as if landfill sites aren’t regarded as important and municipalities have no regard for the well-being of the environment.”

Van Aswegen says the most common problems AfriForum identified during the audit were amongst others the absence of waste management licences, and the total mismanagement of sites. “Serious attention should be given to the state of landfill sites.”

AfriForum branches will also exercise 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. AfriForum will arrange a meeting with Barbara Creecy, Minister of Environmental Affairs, to identify sites that need to be restored and reach the necessary standards.

The audit report will also be submitted to the Green Scorpions for further investigation and action against non-compliant municipalities. AfriForum will continuously monitor the process to ensure that landfill sites are improved to reach the required standards.

  • Read the report here.

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