Plug pulled on plan for 200 to help at Msunduzi landfill

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Working on Fire firefighters at the landfill site during one of several fires in 2020.
Working on Fire firefighters at the landfill site during one of several fires in 2020.
Working on Fire

The Msunduzi Municipality pulled the plug on a programme that would have resulted in the employment of 200 people to help manage the New England Road landfill site. This is according to the Kwazulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) department.

Presenting a report on the status of landfill sites in the province to the provincial legislature’s conservation and environmental affairs portfolio committee on Tuesday, the department said it had been providing support to the municipality in the management of the landfill but the council refused to accept the programme.

“Landfill sites across the province (KZN) could easily resemble the Msunduzi facility should local governments fail to put in place proper management systems.”
EDTEA MEC Ravi Pillay.

The full details of the programme were not presented before the committee. The municipality has been battling to manage the landfill site, which in recent years had been emitting smoke from fires frequently breaking out at the site.

ANC MPL and member of the committee, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha, said while there has been challenges in landfill sites across the province, it was critical for a solution to be found for the Msunduzi facility.

“I will have to single out Msunduzi because it is supposed to be the City of choice and yet we often see reports describing it as the city of filth,” she said.

Experts have called for the closure of the landfill site, saying it has been mismanaged for far too long, making it difficult to rehabilitate it. However, the department told MPLs that it would continue to work closely with the municipality as part of efforts to find a lasting solutions at the site.

WATCH | Beached humpback whale transported to Cape Town landfill site.

EDTEA MEC, Ravi Pillay warned that landfill sites across the province could easily resemble the Msunduzi facility should local governments fail to put in place proper management systems.

The poor management of the Msunduzi landfill site has already resulted in the SA Human Rights commission (SAHRC) filling court papers in a bid to compel the municipality to address problems at its site. The SAHRC matter, which is currently before the Pietermaritzburg High Court, would be heard on February 15.

Last year the DA wrote to Environment, Forestry, and fisheries Minister, Barbara Creecy, requesting her to intervene at the Msunduzi landfill site.

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