Growing calls for Ga-Rankuwa landfill site to be closed as progress stalls
Pretoria - MMC for Environmental Affairs Dana Wannenburg and executive mayor Randall Williams will be visiting the landfill site in Ga-Rankuwa amid growing calls for the facility to be closed.
Residents living close to the landfill site say it has been the butt of complaints of noxious odours and a fly and vermin infestation for years.
Resident Pinky Mabusela said the rainy season was making it worse as it flared during wet days, and they were still getting more signatures which should be enough for them to be listened to.
She said a site visit and inspection by the metro would prove to them that there is a definite injustice and they were looking forward to the visit.
Another resident, Prosper Makhubele, said Zone 16 had become a health hazard which concerned them, as they were experiencing a lot of flies. The hot and rainy weather spelled a horrible few weeks ahead.
“They need to do something to help us urgently, the site is a clear problem. I want to see them visit and tell us if this is not out of place, and causing frustration and concern to many of us.”
Wannenburg acknowledged that waste volumes to the site had increased substantially since the closure of the Onderstepoort landfill last year, but they were operating the landfill in terms of the landfill permit and covering the waste daily.
He said there would be relief as a total of R150 million has been earmarked to purchase extra landfill space, with an additional R13m for development.
Meanwhile, the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has also had the metro in its crosshairs for non-compliance, and is now pursuing a criminal investigation and has handed over the file to the National Prosecuting Authority.
An independent landfill expert confirmed the highly non-compliant nature of the Ga-Rankuwa landfill. “The City is being completely disingenuous when they claim that the landfill is compliant. That claim can only be made based on the external audits that are supposed to happen annually, and the results of the testing of the underground water from the boreholes upstream and downstream of the landfill.”
Another waste management expert commented: “Waste management is a social justice issue. If this landfill was in the suburbs it would have been closed years ago. If you live in the township, you are expected to stomach a stinking landfill and the flies and rats that come from it, otherwise they say you’ll dump your waste illegally.
“No one thinks the townships could use garden refuse drop-off like the suburbs.
“It seems in the short-term that the residents of Ga-Rankuwa will have to seek relief from the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development which it is considering.”