DA to urge provincial government to intervene in Dr Beyers Naude ecological disaster

Issued by Samantha Graham-Maré MP – Dr Beyers Naude Constituency Leader
23 Feb 2024 in Press Statements

Despite the Dr Beyers Naude Municipality having spent almost R400 000 of taxpayer’s money since November 2023 on the rehabilitation and maintenance of the Graaff-Reinet landfill site and transfer station, the site is still in chaos and has become an ecological disaster.

Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality, Mayor Willem Safers stated in his newsletter “Setting the Record Straight”, that “Graaff-Reinet Landfill Site and Transfer Station are being rehabilitated and maintained” he also urged residents to “co-operate with designated officials and follow their instructions at the Landfill Site when dumping waste”.

These statements are a complete fabrication, the landfill site is total carnage. The access road is impassable from midway because more and more people are dumping.  While the Municipality prioritises appointing a driver for the Mayor and Speaker, there is not a single official assigned to work at this landfill site.  The only people directing dumpers are the litter pickers – when they are not busy chasing each other with knives.

The DA laid charges against the Municipality for non-compliance with the National Environmental Waste Management Act, on 1 December 2023.  While the case continues to be investigated, we will ask our colleagues in the Eastern Cape Legislature to engage with the MEC of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs, and Tourism, to request urgent intervention in this matter.

Our councillors have repeatedly asked for a resolution to this total environmental disaster from the Municipal Manager, Dr Edward Rankwana. The response is that he will follow up but no feedback has been received.

Cleaning the site and then not managing it is wasteful and fruitless expenditure. Unless the site is managed properly, full-time with officials designated by the Municipality to ensure that dumping is compliant, every cent spent on cleaning and rehabilitation is wasted. Adding insult to injury, the Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality instituted massive price hikes in refuse tariffs in 2023 which left residents reeling. Clearly that money has not been used for its intended purpose.

Service delivery by government is not a luxury. It is a right. Residents pay for this service. The DA will continue to fight for the rights of our community to have decent services delivered as well as an environment that is clean and safe.  If this government won’t do it, the Democratic Alliance is ready to step in and Rescue South Africa.