A Community Monitors Investigation into the Waste Crisis in Sekhukhune, October – November 2021

The Constitution and the Law

The Constitution of South Africa, in the Bill of Rights in section 24 , Chapter 2, of  our country says that we have the right to live in an environment that is not harmful to the health or well-being. ·

Government has created law to say how waste management must be set up and controlled this is the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) (NEMA).

Municipalities are required by this law to set up a integrated waste management plan and provide basic services related to  cleansing and refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal

Links : https://www.gov.za/documents/national-environmental-management-act

What the Municipality Says

The District municipality says on its website  that there is an Integrated Waste Management Plan . However in reality this is only for a few areas where more wealthy people live.

From our observation and what we have learnt in our interviews with residents , there is no waste management service,They provided few dumpsters , but these were located on the R37 far from were people lived, Many of these dumpsters are today abandoned

What Municipal Councillors Say

oThe one said – call me in 10 minutes I will give you an answer- when I called he did not answer

oMany admitted  There’s no official Waste Management system.

oThe one said that the municipality put 1 bin (dumpster ) on the main road for people to use. But he agrees that it is far from the villages  which are  not close to main roads. He then said I am no longer on the voters roll you better engage the person who is on voters roll

o The councillor said , can you please draft your project plan before 1st of November so that we can convince the one standing for elections to place a big rubbish bin. We do have dumping site along the way to Nkwana Village.

o There is no system in rural area for waste collection at household but only workers who clean alongside roads and clearing the tree picking only papers and plastic leaving diapers, bottles and household waste.

o“ There is no waste management system in our local area moving forward we are still waiting for the elections maybe there will be a difference”.

o.It was difficult to talk with the councillor in our area , because recently there has been elections and a new new councillor us coming in .

oThe ward council was engaged on this issue last month, she said the plan of the project should be drafted to see what and where to fix the problem on the 18th of November.

oAccording to Fetakgomo/Tubatse management plan, municipality doesn’t have code 14 drivers licence which indicating that waste transportation will be problem.

oThe municipality has only road workers to manage cutting of trees along the roads especially on nationalised roads. oWe do have some staff like bottles, disable diapers and many plastic backs that never burned by community members and tuck shop owners. oWe don’t have any recycling equipment around rural community level.

o This one also referred to the meeting of the 18th oh November during the Social Development meeting. He said that there is a office that works on waste management but because of budget everything fails