KZN DA: Umsunduzi landfill ruling avoidable if municipality delivered on mandate

On Thursday, the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that the Umsunduzi Local Municipality had violated the Constitution by mismanaging its landfill site.

The people in some of the images can be captioned as ‘waste-pickers who work at the site’. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/EWN

DURBAN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal said that a scathing ruling against the Umsunduzi Local Municipality over its New England Road landfill site could have been avoided if the local government delivered on its service delivery mandate.

On Thursday, the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that the Umsunduzi Local Municipality had violated the Constitution by mismanaging its landfill site.

For over 10 years, residents have complained about the disastrous site, which was cited as a threat to human life and the environment.

Toxic fumes and the outbreak of fires in Pietermaritzburg have been linked to the New England Road landfill site.

The appeals of residents and the KwaZulu-Natal Environmental Affairs Department to the municipality over the past 10 years had failed to yield any positive results.

This prompted a successful legal bid by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which has forced the municipality to develop a turnaround strategy.

The DA’s Christopher Pappas: "This yet another indictment on the failed and collapsed Umsunduzi Local Municipality, which should have been dissolved months ago. It is unfair and unsustainable that residents, institutions and businesses are forced to take government and especially municipalities to court to get basic services delivered."

The Umsunduzi Local Municipality is expected to present its action plan to the court in six months’ time.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.