The Gauteng Department of Health is investigating the illegal disposal of medical waste material found in a field in Ormonde, south of Johannesburg, provincial spokesperson Motalatale Modiba says.
In a media statement on Sunday, he said the matter had been reported to the City of Joburg’s Environmental Health Department.
“The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) is investigating the circumstances that led to medical waste items being illegally disposed of at a field around Ormonde, south of Johannesburg.
“The department has further reported this incident to the City of Joburg’s environmental health section to further process the matter in line with applicable legislation.”
Modbai said the GDoH was informed of the incident on Saturday afternoon, after members of the community who were patrolling the area discovered the waste.
It is reported that members of the community watch structures found used syringes, medical files and other items in the waste material.
“At this stage, it is not clear where the waste material comes from and where it was heading to.
“However, the department has a track and trace system for the disposal of medical waste or files in its facilities and has contracted accredited service providers to manage this process on its behalf,” he said.
Modiba said the department would begin an investigation to get to the bottom of the incident, including identifying who was responsible for the illegal dumping of medical material.
“Part of the investigations will be to establish if indeed the material was from any of our institutions and who was handling it, so that appropriate measures can be taken to hold those responsible accountable.
“The department has since assigned a service provider to assess the waste material to determine what it is and to remove it for proper disposal.”