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DA calls on Minister to intervene in 'Makhanda landfill crisis'

Jul 15, 2019
DA calls on Minister to intervene in 'Makhanda landfill crisis'

Makhanda - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is clear that the Makana Local Municipality has lost all functional control of the landfill site on the outskirts, west of Makhanda.

"The site is not secure and poorly maintained, and has been the source of harmful smoke and odours as a result of uncontrolled fires," described Kevin Mileham MP - DA Frontier Constituency Leader.

"These have only recently been extinguished by rainfall, as the Makana Municipality was unable to resolve it through the use of their own fire services."

Mileham said that on Saturday, he conducted an oversight inspection at the site and found it to be in a terrible state and extremely hazardous.

"I was joined by local councillors and the DA’s candidate for the Makana Municipality Ward 12 by-election, Angie Jones," he added.

"This is hardly a new situation. The landfill site has exceeded its permitted lifespan as per it’s operating licence, and no plans have been put in place to rehabilitate the site and develop a new one.

"This despite the matter having been raised with the municipal and provincial authorities on numerous occasions."

Mileham said that in November 2018, his colleague Andrew Whitfield MP, raised it with then MEC for Environmental Affairs and Tourism (and now Premier) Oscar Mabuyane MPL.

"He did not receive the courtesy of a reply. See letter here.

"Accordingly, I will now be bringing this to the attention of the national minister of Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs, Barbara Creecy, and will seek enforcement of all the terms of the landfill site’s operating licence," Mileham stated.

"We will also lay criminal charges against those municipal officials who have been derelict in their duty or who have ignored an earlier ruling regarding this issue.

"In 2015 the High Court ordered the Makana Municipality to comply with the conditions of their landfill permit and fix the harmful conditions at the site.

"We believe that the mayor and municipal manager must immediately implement the findings of this court order and that failure to do so amounts to contempt of court."

Mileham added that the Democratic Alliance will not stand idly by while the citizens of Makhanda are subjected to health, safety and environmental malpractice.

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