Rooipoort rubbish dump still a health hazard


Despite being prioritised for serious attention, all is still not well at the Rooipoort rubbish dump.
Towards the end of last year, inspectors of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) served the municipality with an official notice saying it did not comply with the National Environmental Management Act (No. 107 of 1998). It threatened to fine the accounting officer, in this case, the acting municipal manager, up to R10 000 000 or
impose a sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, or both. The municipality also ran the risk of the DEA shutting down the Rooipoort waste facility by revoking the facility’s permit.
On Monday, however, several members of the DA paid an oversight visit to monitor the progress after questions were raised in the provincial legislature on 26 June. The party wanted to check whether the municipality had fixed the problems that were identified in an audit by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDard) on 3 April.
Although the site did look neater and cleaner, especially around the entrance, most of the problems on the list seemed to still be there. Among other things, the weighbridge at the site was not working and the site had not yet been fenced off. The storm water had dammed up at the site and a group of people were burning what looked like
stolen electrical cabling, even though fires are not permitted there.
In the meantime, about 200 people were still found to be living on the site.
‘GDard must urgently intervene in this situation as the impact on human life and the environment is dire,’ said Ms Ina Cilliers, the DA’s constituency head for Merafong. The Herald asked the municipality for comment on Tuesday.
‘The appointment of a consultant for the project was only finalised in September 2017 because of the municipal procurement processes. He is currently developing the project programme, which will be finalised towards the end of October. This  programme will determine the projects expected to be completed before the end of the financial year.
‘In the interim, the municipality has taken a number of steps to improve the situation at the Rooipoort Waste Management Site. These include the dismantling of the weighbridge that is in the process of being repaired. The fencing of the site office has been done; tipper trucks are available on site to deliver cover material; the landfill
compactor is executing daily compaction on site; a front-end loader is there to load cover material; a water tanker is available to suppress the dust on the access road when necessary and cover material is being applied to the waste body,’ the municipal spokesperson reported.
He added that the removal of illegal dumping is in its final stage and will be completed before the end of this month.
In the last week of September, the municipality held a meeting with the reclaimers about moving their shacks away from the active cell and the latter started doing so at the beginning of October.
The required sign board has also been installed on site.
‘Where there is still a lot of work to be done at Rooipoort, the municipality is satisfied that it will execute the required actions as contained in the ‘to be finalised’ project scope to adhere to all legislative requirements before the end of the financial year,’ the spokesperson concluded.







Latest News


Parys GazettePotchefstroom HeraldSedibeng SterVaal Weekblad