With its waste transfer station being closed for 18 months, and the official landfill technically full, rubbish and plastic bags are piling up near Graaff-Reinet with no municipal officials in sight, no official plan to deal with waste and little control over what gets dumped. Officials have also admitted that illegal dumping has spiralled out of control, and have promised a clean-up campaign.
With rubbish littering the streets of many of its suburbs, a waste site plagued by fires with nobody on duty there and hazardous waste permits being issued but not controlled, municipal waste services in the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality seem to have descended into disarray.
Sidewalks in Kroonvale, Asherville, Santaville, Riemvasmaak, Vrygrond and Umasizakhe are littered with rubbish including medical masks, mattresses, hundreds of plastic bags, broken bottles and human waste in some instances.
Plastic bags litter a large area around the Graaff-Reinet municipal waste site. (Photo: Theo Jephta)
Only informal waste pickers work at the waste site where no municipal official and no security guards were visible during Maverick Citizen's visit.
The new landfill site, complete with an office and gate for access control, was completed 15 months ago in a joint project...