Angry residents who vowed to shut down the area have been clashing with police since last week. More than 40 protesters were arrested, and 19 appeared in court on Friday.
Municipal manager Coenie Groenewald said: “Infrastructure and equipment, including the conveyor belt and baler at the recycling plant (among others), have been burnt, which has caused substantial damage to the waste transfer and recycling plants. Current estimates of damage, but not limited to, the Hermanus Sewage Works, swimming pool buildings, various other buildings and roads, amount to about R40m.”
Groenewald said no recycling could take place in Hermanus or Kleinmond any longer, and clear recycling bags would therefore in the interim no longer be provided. The area which has been marred by violence has also forced several schools to shut down.
Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the disruptions in the community also affected pupils travelling to schools outside of Zwelihle, to areas such as Hermanus and Kleinmond, which affected attendance.