In November 2016, the Merafong Local Municipality considered a report on a compliance inspection conducted by the Gauteng Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs (GPDEA) at the Rooipoort Landfill facility, outside Carletonville in Merafong.
The Department informed the Merafong Council that its landfill site did not comply with the required permit conditions and charged the Acting Municipal Manager, Mr Thibini, with fifty different charges of non-compliance which carry a fine not exceeding R10million or imprisonment.
The ANC-run Council at the time approved a R10 million budget to address some of the urgent problems at the landfill.
The ANC refused to support the DA in adding a recommendation to the resolution that the Acting Municipal Manager be formally disciplined.
In March this year, the Integrated Environmental Management Committee considered yet another report on a compliance audit conducted at the Rooipoort Landfill.
The Department again stated categorically that the Rooipoort Landfill site still does not comply with the required permit conditions.
According to the report, 50% of the R10 million budgeted to address issues at the site had already been spent.
The DA conducted its own inspection and found that there had been no improvement at the site since November 2016.
On the 30th March 2017, the Council decided to suspend the services of both the Acting Executive Director of Integrated
Environmental Services and the Acting Municipal Manager pending a full investigation.
While Merafong has been without a permanent Municipal Manager for some time, these suspensions exacerbate the situation and place the site at further risk.
The Rooipoort Landfill site is Merafong’s only waste disposal site. Should this site be closed in terms of the provisions of the Act, Merafong will be in serious trouble.
Alternatively, should a fine be imposed, the cash-strapped Merafong would battle to pay.
It is about time that the ANC Leadership in Merafong gets its affairs in order and takes steps to avoid closure of this site.
Ina Cilliers MPL and Blackie Zwart
DA Constituency Head: Merafong and Caucus head: Merafong
060 556 4344
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