Forced closure of landfill sites and transfer stations sparks environmental crisis in Emfuleni

Issued by Dennis Ryder MP – Emfuleni South Constituency Head
22 Feb 2024 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance urgently calls upon the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) to reconsider its decision to close various landfill sites, transfer stations and mini-dumps in the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

They must also provide immediate solutions for the environmental crisis precipitated by this closure.

The recent closure of landfill sites, transfer stations, and mini disposal sites in the Emfuleni Local Municipality has triggered a severe environmental crisis, leading to illegal dumping and extensive harm to the ecosystem. The closures were enacted due to the non-adherence to license conditions, leaving the municipality grappling with dire consequences.

With limited alternatives for waste disposal, residents and businesses in Emfuleni are resorting to illegal dumping, exacerbating pollution and endangering public health. The absence of accessible waste management facilities has led to a surge in illegal dumping , contributing to soil contamination, air pollution, and the proliferation of pests and diseases.

This is particularly evident near Redan where waste pickers have gone so far as to move their shacks to the roadside, burning waste and polluting the air over a substantial area and impacting visibility on the R59. Demands by Democratic Alliance Councillor Grace Damon, have resulted in token efforts from the Municipality to intervene, but these have been largely ineffectual.

The closure of essential waste management infrastructure has placed an immense financial burden on the already cash-strapped municipality. Residents and businesses now face increased costs associated with longer trips to distant landfill sites and the necessity to utilize private dumping facilities, imposing additional fees. The municipality’s limited resources are stretched thin, hindering its ability to effectively address the escalating environmental degradation.

Despite the urgency of the situation, the GDARD has provided inadequate support to mitigate the repercussions of the closures. This lack of assistance has left the municipality struggling to manage the fallout.

The Democratic Alliance will be writing to the Premier of Gauteng demanding his intervention in the growing Waste Crisis in the Emfuleni Municipal area.

Additionally, we urge stakeholders, including residents, businesses, and environmental organizations, to collaborate with local authorities to implement sustainable waste management solutions and combat illegal dumping. Together, we can safeguard our environment and protect the well-being of present and future generations.