South Africa: Ekurhuleni Shuts Down Illegal Recycling Company

23 September 2020

The City of Ekurhuleni has obtained a court order to halt operations at the Steel Sheeting Company in Wadeville following complaints of an unbearable stench caused by illegal recycling and manufacturing operations.

According to the City's Divisional Head for Legislative Compliance in the Environment Resources Department, Thabang Mokoena, the company buys plastic recyclables from waste collectors and washes them to recycle into plastic granules that can be used to manufacture plastic furniture.

Last Friday, officials from the city's Environment Resources Department, together with the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) and South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs, raided the facility.

"The law enforcement officers further discovered inhumane working conditions, illegal recycling operations and almost 50 illegal immigrants conducting unlicensed plastic recycling operations.

"The court order also provided for removal of machinery used to operate the facility. As such, EMPD had to remove all machinery at the premises," Mokoena said.

SARS officials also found the company not to be registered with SARS.

Mokoena said following the closure of the company, other relevant city departments will move in to complete other necessary enquiries and operations to fully effect the court order.

"Furthermore, the City's environmental inspectors will continue to inspect and monitor other companies with similar operations that are non-compliant with the city's waste management by-laws and air quality legislation."

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