By LOYISO DYONGMAN
On September 9, the Makana Municipality was ordered by the Grahamstown High Court to clean up seven of the city estimated 117 illegal dumpsites within 14 days. Six weeks later, the municipality has cleaned up three of the seven sites.
The ruling came after the municipality was taken to court by residents in Ezihagwini (Extension 6) and Mary Waters High School last year.
Legal Resources Centre (LRC) attorney Cameron McConnachie said, “Only three dumpsites have received any attention, and even they have not been completely cleared. We have held meetings with municipal officials to highlight that there already was non-compliance with the court order.
“We have not taken another court action and have been negotiating with the municipality to comply with the court order.”
In a comprehensive order to clean up the town, the court gave the municipality 30 days to identify all other illegal dumpsites, clear all illegal dumpsites within 120 days, and eight months to review its by-laws and waste management plans to ensure it complies with national waste management legislation.
Previously, municipal spokesperson Yoliswa Ramokolo said the municipality had identified 117 dumping sites. She said the municipality was complying and clearing up the dumps.
Meanwhile, Phumlani location and Fingo Village residents complain that Makana Municipality has ignored their reports of sewage streaming right past their yards and rubbish piling up.
Luthando Mpofu, from Phumlani, said, “I have lost count of how many times I have been reporting this to the municipality, but it is years. Last year, I even reported this to the mayor [Mzukisi Mpahlwa]. I had a chat with him complaining about the situation … I told him of my disappointment of how the municipality had reacted to this matter. He promised to come back to me… This is another year, and he has not fulfilled that promise.”
“It is even worse now as we are approaching summer. This is going to give us an unbearable stench,” said Mpofu.
Council Speaker Yandiswa Vara said the municipality would attend to the problem. “We went there and saw the problem and are going to attend to it. We have informed people in that area that we are going to fix that problem.” – GroundUp
Dumpsite in Ezihangweni, 30 September 2021. Photo: Phetolo Phatsibi