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Waste management under the spotlight

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“This represents a significant improvement compared to eight municipalities that entered during the last financial year.”

THE MEC for the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, Rural Development, Environment and Nature Conservation, Nomandla Bloem, highlighted the poor state of waste management at municipalities in the Province during a waste management summit.

She stated that illegal dumping, failure to collect household waste, littering and poor sewage management practices needed to be addressed.

Bloem said the summit was convened last week in response to the call made by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch of the Khawuleza district co-ordination model to improve service delivery around the country.

“The summit was called in an effort to discuss ways and means of addressing the waste management scourge affecting the poor and vulnerable.

“It is without a doubt that our communities in and around the Province are subjected to poor waste management practices – such as the uncollected waste, sewage spills and poorly maintained landfill sites,” said Bloem.

She pointed out that despite efforts to clear the area at the entrance of Kimberley Airport, the site was still being used as a dumping ground.

“A day after launching the provincial cleaning campaign to neaten the entrance of Kimberley Airport, in conjunction with various stakeholders including the SANDF, Sol Plaatje Municipality and Airports Company South Africa, trucks were spotted dumping at the same spot.”

She added that 20 municipalities in the Province took part in the greenest municipality competition that assessed green practices, reducing the carbon footprint, contribution to the green economy, cleanliness, social upliftment and economic growth and development.

“This represents a significant improvement compared to eight municipalities that entered during the last financial year.”

She said that the Siyathemba, Emthanjeni, Umsobomvu, Magareng, Dikgatlong, Sol Plaatje, Phokwane, Karoo Hoogland, Richtersveld, Namakhoi, Khâi-Ma, Gamagara, Ga-Segonyana, Joe Morolong, Tsantsabane, Dawid Kruiper, Kgatelopele and Kai !Garib local municipalities participated in the competition.

“A total of 19 local municipalities were adjudicated. Emthanjeni Local Municipality was not evaluated due to a lack of commitment from the official responsible for the process.”

Bloem noted an improvement in the quality of evidence from evaluations that were conducted by a panel consisting of officials from the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, between February 17 and March 4.

She stated that challenges that prevented municipalities from contributing towards the green economy included financial and human resource constraints, as well as a lack of an operations and maintenance budget and the non-enforcement of municipal by-laws.

“By now all municipalities, big or small, should be promoting green buildings. Conservation of our natural resources should be a priority.”

She awarded R150 000 to Gamagara Local Municipality for winning first prize for the greenest municipality in the Province, during a gala dinner that was held in Kimberley last week.

Gamagara Municipality will represent the Province at the national greenest competition that will be held later this year.

Magareng Municipality achieved second place and received R100 000 while Karoo Hoogland Local Municipality was given third place and prize money of R80 000.

Siyathemba Local Municipality received an award for an improved municipality along with R 50 000 and Ga-Segonyana Municipality received R50 000 for participating as a first-time competitor.