Talk of the Town - - Front Page - ROB KNOWLES

ANY­ONE who has vis­ited the Port Al­fred dumpsite, ad­ja­cent to the Mar­jorie Par­rish TB Hos­pi­tal, would have no­ticed the amount of refuse scat­tered out­side the gates lit­ter­ing the ad­ja­cent area, or the nox­ious fumes that em­anate from il­le­gal burn­ing that is a pos­si­ble cause of se­ri­ous health prob­lems for nearby res­i­dents.

TotT has re­ported on the dump nu­mer­ous times in the past, but the lat­est con­cerns were brought to our at­ten­tion by Xolisa Runeli, of the EFF, who com­plained on the TotT Face­book page that the dump was a health hazard and hoped for sup­port for a case like the one the Ken­ton-on-Sea Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (Kosra) took out and won against Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­cently.

“Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is [a] mur­der­ous regime that is silently killing our peo­ple and caus­ing harm to our en­vi­ron­ment,” he wrote. “Call­ing on any per­son who could help our town­ship res­i­dents in tak­ing this mu­nic­i­pal­ity to court over its vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights and [the] en­vi­ron­ment.”

Kosra orig­i­nally ob­tained an or­der from the high court com­pelling the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to prop­erly man­age waste at the dumpsite, col­lect the refuse which had spread over the ad­ja­cent veld and pre­vent the oc­cur­rence of fires at the site – which had hap­pened nu­mer­ous times over the years.

A struc­tural in­ter­dict was handed down and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had to re­port on mea­sures it had taken ev­ery 90 days.

“When the orig­i­nal or­der was made one, might have an­tic­i­pated that the old dump would be closed when the new one was op­er­a­tional. But as it hap­pened, Nd­lambe closed the old dump sum­mar­ily and put in place pro­ce­dures to man­age the waste that could no longer go to the old dump,” Kosra chair­man Si­mon Oliver said.

These pro­ce­dures have meant that all refuse (gar­den waste, plas­tics, house­hold refuse and all other refuse items) are now brought to Port Al­fred and dumped there, as us­ing other “un­reg­is­tered” dump­sites in the area would be il­le­gal.

Al­der­man Louise Swanepoel spoke on the mat­ter of the dumpsite at the DA AGM, held on Mon­day.

“The EIAs (en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ments) that need to be car­ried out to es­tab­lish or de­com­mis­sion a dumpsite are quite lengthy,” she said. “But the site has no se­cu­rity and rub­bish is just dumped out­side the gate.”

Rob Crothall said the site needed to be man­aged prop­erly and George Gal­braith said some peo­ple had be­gun dump­ing their refuse at Cen­te­nary Park, where there was now a to­tal mess at the on­ce­pop­u­lar braai area.

The state of the Port Al­fred dump has been raised at pre­vi­ous coun­cil meet­ings, but the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has jus­ti­fied its ac­tions on the ba­sis it does not have enough money to build a new dumpsite.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity has not even de­com­mis­sioned the Marselle/Bush­man’s dumpsite due to lack of funds. In the mean­time, the Port Al­fred dumpsite is over­flow­ing.

Re­cy­cling com­pany Iwars (In­te­grated Waste and Re­cy­cling Ser­vices) had been pro­cess­ing re­cy­clables at the dump for years but, due to a re­cent fire al­legedly started by van­dals, re­cy­cling at the dump has ceased as its ware­house was razed to the ground.

“They were do­ing a great job,” said Ward 10 coun­cil­lor Ray Schenk. “Af­ter the fire they will have to start all over again.”

On a re­cent visit, Cana­di­ans from the Fed­er­a­tion of Canadian Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties met with the South African Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion along with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers in Nd­lambe to dis­cuss and ham­mer out a plan to mit­i­gate the con­se­quences of cli­mate change. They are also com­mis­sioned to as­sist with re­cy­cling ef­forts in the area.

Nd­lambe mu­nic­i­pal spokesman Ce­cil Mbolekwa had not replied to re­quests for com­ment by the time of go­ing to press.


DOWN IN THE DUMPS: Since the Marselle/Bush­man’s dumpsite was closed by Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, refuse from all over Nd­lambe is brought to the Port Al­fred dump and de­posited there. How­ever, with no se­cu­rity or su­per­vi­sion, refuse is be­ing thrown on the...

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