National 8.9.2016 02:31 pm

South Africa is a wasteful land – AfriForum

Afriforum Members stand in protest infront of the Department of Enviromental Affairs, 8 September 2016, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Afriforum Members stand in protest infront of the Department of Enviromental Affairs, 8 September 2016, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

It is clear the quality of waste management and management of dumping sites all over SA deteriorated since 2014, says AfriForum.

Medical waste, animal carcasses, tyres and other waste are found on general municipal dumping sites, causing a risk to health and the environment.

The waste comes from factories, mines and hospitals and includes poisonous material that is especially dangerous to people with children living on these dumping sites.

AfriForum head of Local Government Affairs Marcus Pawson on Thursday morning said, according to their new national audit report on dumping sites, only 83 dumping sites complied with 80% or more of the minimum requirements for dumping sites.

“This means that 68 municipalities did not comply with the minimum requirements for proper waste management.”

He was addressing journalists in front of the department of water affairs just before he was to hand over the report to the office of Minister Edna Molewa. “We have been liaising with the minister since May this year.”

According to Pawson, Gauteng and Ekurhuleni will also run out of landfill sites in the next 20 years if government does not start to manage their sites properly and make plans for new sites.

Marcus Pawson, Afriforum's head of Local Government is seen refering to medical Waste, an animal carcass and tyres on the back of a dumptruck, these are items frequently found in dumpsites in Gauteng, which are items that are not allowed to be dumped on these sites, infront of the Department of Enviromental Affairs, 8 September 2016, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Marcus Pawson, Afriforum’s head of Local Government is seen refering to medical Waste, an animal carcass and tyres on the back of a dumptruck, these are items frequently found in dumpsites in Gauteng, which are items that are not allowed to be dumped on these sites, infront of the Department of Enviromental Affairs, 8 September 2016, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

AfriForum launched the #cleanSA initiative in May 2014, and from here the initiative evolved into a project called ‘Don’t Mess with our Waste’.

“The infrastructure is falling apart, and budgets are not enough for the building of new sites.

“From this audit report it is clear that the quality of waste management and management of dumping sites all over South Africa deteriorated since 2014.”

Pawson said the decline in quality could be traced back to the lack of management and disregard in municipalities responsible for the management of waste.

“If municipalities fail to address these issues, legal action will be taken, with the possibility of opening a criminal case against the administrative officers,” he said.

They have also audited three private landfall sites and compared them with state landfill sites, and they apparently comply with the regulations.

AfriForum will hand over its project report and the #MunicipalWastePrints directly to environmental management inspectors Green Scorpions for their attention.

poll

today in print