City loses revenue at landfills due to lack of security, vandalism

A City of Tshwane landfill site in Ga-Rankuwa. File: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

A City of Tshwane landfill site in Ga-Rankuwa. File: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 11, 2024


The City of Tshwane stands to lose millions of rand in revenue at its landfills should it fail to put in place proper infrastructure and adequate security measures to deter acts of vandalism at the waste-disposal sites.

This was a concern raised by the acting divisional head for waste management, Alice Mphahlele, who told the municipal public accounts committee members on Friday that lack of proper infrastructure on landfills were hampering efforts by the municipality to generate income from the facilities.

The income recovered by the municipality from landfills during the financial year 2021/22 and 2022/23 were R86 million and R168m, respectively.

Mphahlele said while landfill operations have serious potential to generate revenues the income generated previously could only be increased if the City could have proper infrastructure on the sites.

“Security measures need to be put in place to curb any further damage and theft of newly-installed infrastructure,” she said.

She cited that it was difficult to have weigh bridges operational due to ongoing acts of vandalism, saying the situation also affected “water supply and electricity that is also beneficial to the workers”.

There were only four operational landfills and they were servicing both private clients and municipal vehicles, she said.

Two years ago, the City was accused of failing to collect landfill fees estimated at R135m and of allowing clients to continue operating for almost 11 months without adhering to certain terms and conditions of the contract, which include paying a disposal fee.

Mphahlele conceded that in the past the contractors were billed, but they did not pay accordingly.

As part of the measures to curb non-payment of bills, the City was in the process of introducing accounts for landfill-users.

Mphahlele said: “All vehicles utilising our landfill sites are encouraged to apply for the account, and the application details of the type of vehicle that is going to be used, and the carrying capacity of that vehicle.”

From April, she said, her department started campaigns to check if vehicles entering landfills have permits said to be crucial for raising revenue for the City.

Other measures explored by the department requiring both capital and operational budget to enhance revenue generation included the repair and upgrading of weigh bridges.

Mphahlele said a mobile renewable energy system was required as well as installation of pay-as-you-use speed points for users.

“Currently they (users) get the bill and they don’t pay as and when we expect them to do so,” she said.

The City asset unit has done the security assessment of the landfills and found that excessive vandalism of perimeter fences created a security challenge.

“A number of security guards stationed at each site has proved not to be sufficient,” Mphahlele said.

There have been recommendations to install boom gates and spikes, including the installation of high mast light and surveillance cameras as security measures at landfills.

Last year the committee discovered during a visit that a landfill site in Soshanguve operated without electricity due to illegal power connections since 2015, and its weigh bridge was not working.

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