Ann McDonnell, MPL
DA KZN Spokesperson on Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs
AN official within KZN’s Hluhluwe municipality has described the town’s rubbish dump as an “embarrassing disaster” with too many breaches of the law to mention and a complete failure of basic service delivery.
The same official confirmed that the municipality is currently using its Equitable Share to pay salaries rather than allocating funds to delivering services to indigent people- where it is supposed to go.
The revelations were made during a site visit this week by the KZN portfolio committee on Environmental Affairs and Conservation following complaints from residents that they are “living amongst rubbish”.
Our visit confirmed that this is in fact an understatement. As a committee, we were disgusted by what we found.
The area used for dumping household refuse in Hluhluwe is not licensed, nor is it fenced. Refuse is simply dumped with no attempt to cover it so that when the wind blows, garbage spreads everywhere.
Not only is this dump an eyesore, the associated health risks are dire.
It was also confirmed that refuse collection is only done in the CBD. Meanwhile the residential area surrounding the dump is strewn with pockets of uncollected household refuse, some of which has been burned in an attempt to get rid of it.
The Hluhluwe municipal dump was first flagged during a national assembly visit to the area in August. Yet it is clear that it has been a problem for many months.
During a COGTA portfolio committee meeting held earlier this year, the DA appealed for an early warning system to highlight failures within KZN municipalities. The Hluhluwe municipal dump is a prime example.
Another is the Mpofana municipal dump visited during a COGTA oversight inspection last month. Again, money budgeted for refuse removal is being used for other purposes.
Earlier this year the MEC promised to get the basics right. This must surely be an appropriate starting point.