Swartspruit – Ekurhuleni
The massive diesel spillage into the Swartspruit, Ekurhuleni has highlighted the Gauteng Department of Economic Development’s limp-wristed approach to ensuring that environmental damage it mitigated throughout the province.
Information obtained by the DA indicates that while the Department has ensured that all boxes have been ticked in terms of statutory compliance according to the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), agreements to increase and capacitate the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipalities’ environmental enforcement unit have not been fulfilled.
In 2011 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Municipality and the Gauteng MEC for Economic Development to provide the municipality with Environmental Management Inspectors (EMI) whose responsibility it is to ensure businesses and industries throughout the Metro comply with environmental legislation.
According to the 2011 MOU, 25 EMI positions were to be established. To date Ekurhuleni only has two EMIs who are expected to inspect more than 5000 businesses.
Given that Gauteng experiences massive in-migration and with it, an increase for goods and services, it is likely that this municipality will need more than 25 EMIs.
I will pose questions to the MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile, as to why these post have never been filled, and why the Department, through the inter-governmental relations framework has not done more to monitor and track environmental compliance in Ekurhuleni.
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development
082 462 8239