South Africa: What a Dump - Pietermaritzburg's Disastrous Landfill Site Continues to Give the Council and Residents a Headache


Msunduzi municipality is considering removing waste pickers from its New England landfill site as concerns about criminal activities put the site and those around it at risk.

In a recent report that has been filed with the Pietermaritzburg High Court, the municipality has blamed waste pickers for some of the fires and the chaotic state of the New England landfill site which has affected people living in the suburb of Sobantu.

In its action plan, the municipality said its operations were being disrupted and that waste pickers had been threatening operators to not compact waste until they had finished retrieving items from the dump.

'Waste pickers attract or encourage criminal activities, viz: sale of drugs, alcohol and weapons. This places staff and customers at increased risk,' says a municipal report. (Picture: Rogan Ward)

"Reclaimed materials are sporadically placed on site, creating the false impression that the site is not covered," says the report.

The report is part of an action plan filed by the municipality after the high court ordered in June that the municipality comes up with a strategy on how it intends to improve its running of the landfill site.

Judge Rishi Seegobin found the municipality to be...

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