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SAHRC takes uMsunduzi Municipality to court over landfill site

The commission said it was concerned about the municipality’s handling of its New England Landfill site in Pietermaritzburg which has been cited as a threat to the environment and a public health disaster.

FILE: The commission said poor management of the municipal dump had contributed to the emission of toxic fumes and outbreaks of fires in the area.  Picture: www.sahrc.org.za

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has filed an urgent application in the Pietermaritzburg High Court against the uMsunduzi Municipality claiming the local government has violated the Constitution.

The commission said it was concerned about the municipality’s handling of its New England Landfill site in Pietermaritzburg which has been cited as a threat to the environment and a public health disaster.

The commission said poor management of the municipal dump had contributed to the emission of toxic fumes and outbreaks of fires in the area.

SAHRC said the New England Landfill site posed a severe threat to the environment and to the well-being of residents in the local and surrounding communities.

The commission’s manager for KZN Lloyd Lotz said: “We will be asking the court for two things: the first one is that the municipality has violated the Constitution, Section 24 in particular, which is the right for all citizens to have an environment that is healthy and that the municipality also violated the National Environment Act.”

Lotz said they wanted the court to supervise the municipality and ensure that it adhered to the law.

“We are quite interested in the action plan that they are working on developing, which will be a turnaround to get the landfill site to comply with all relevant laws.”

The matter has been set down for next Friday.

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