9 September 2021
Court orders Makana Municipality to address waste management issues in Makhanda
MAKHANDA — The Legal Resources Centre welcomes this morning’s order from the Grahamstown High Court in the Ezihagweni Committee refuse case, directing the Makana Municipality to address ongoing waste management failures in the town.
The current by-laws and waste management system in Makhanda have been declared unconstitutional as they fail to protect and fulfil the residents’ rights to an environment that is not harmful to their health. In terms of the order, the Makana Municipality must clear and eradicate seven specific illegal dumpsites within 14 days, work with communities to identify all other illegal dumpsites within 30 days, and then clear all illegal dumpsites within 120 days. The municipality must also provide three plastic bags to each household on a weekly basis, and produce a comprehensive audit of Makhanda’s waste management needs within three months. Once identified, these needs must be addressed no less than three months following the completion of the audit. The municipality must also review its by-laws and integrated management plan to ensure compliance with all applicable legislation.
“We welcome today’s clear and comprehensive court order. Our clients look forward to reclaiming a living space that is not an affront to their dignity or their constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being. We are under no illusions – this is going to be a long process and will require a vigilant community and dedication from municipal officials. We will be monitoring the process closely,” said LRC attorney Cameron McConnachie.
For the past three years, residents have worked tirelessly to have the Makana Municipality fulfil its obligations in terms of refuse collection and ensuring that the environment they live in, meets the legislative standards of an environment that is safe and free from any hazards. We are pleased that the court has put residents’ needs first in this matter.
Issued by the Legal Resources Centre
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