Members of the Upper Highway Air non-profit organisation held a protest march in Hillcrest calling for the closure and rehabilitation of Evniroserv’s Shongweni landfill site. From left, holding the banner, are Margaret Stoop, Charl Claassen, Sandile Bele, Lauren Johnson and Terri Carlson. Behind them, from left, are Dave Keefer, Anthony Shepherd and Julia Wilson. File Picture
DURBAN - The public’s complaints and frustrations continue to mount as uncertainty looms over the future of the controversial Shongweni landfill site while EnviroServ continues to pour in millions of rand in the hopes of rectifying the malodour problem.

Apparently, it can now be smelt as far as Westville, Pinetown and Inchanga, but EnviroServ has disputed this, saying its own expert would have detected it.

Westville resident Ray Cloete said he first got a whiff in May but he was not sure what it was. “It comes and goes. May be once in two weeks, but when it’s here, it’s bad I only realised what it was when I went to a colleague’s house in Summerveld.”

He said he was grateful his family did not live close to the site because of the alleged health issues suffered by the local communities.

Everyone involved is waiting anxiously for the Department of Environmental Affairs’s response following EnviroServ’s change of appeal last month to the suspension of its licence.

The suspension has left the site unable to accept, treat or dispose of any waste since April. Last week, EnviroServ’s Thabiso Taaka said the company had just over a month to complete its remedial and mitigation work as per the 11-point plan which was approved by the department last year.

He said the investigation indicated there were other sources contributing to the odour, but EnviroServ was “made to carry the can”.

“Dr Lucian Burger did an air dispersion model. Her report states the chance of the smell going as far as Westville is non-existent."

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SUNDAY TRIBUNE