DA Leader visits southern dumping site

Members of the Free State Democratic Alliance join party leader John Steenhuisen at the South Park Landfill. PHOTO: NOMAQHAWE MTEBELE

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader and Member of Parliament, John Steenhuisen, visited the South Park Landfill in Bloemfontein on Monday. During the visit members of the party, including Free State Provincial Leader Patricia Kopane, took a tour of the grounds that have become notorious for crime, slums and apparent mismanagement.

According to Steenhuisen the site needs both security and environmental intervention before the situation worsens. “It’s not safe from what I’ve seen here today. It is badly managed because there is no control over what is dumped or who dumps. There is no control over who enters or exists the property,” he explained.

Courant was on the grounds as the MP took in the appalling sights at the landfill. Although meant for garbage, the site seems to have turned into a slum for criminals and rubbish collectors who have erected small shelters across the grounds.

According to DA Ward Councillor, David Mckay, many of the people who live at the landfill are people who try to make a living out of recycling garbage. However, the area has bred a criminal element that prey on residents who visit the landfill to dump their trash.

“We have to expose the catastrophe that is the southern dumpsite and it’s all because of bad management and broken promises,” he said.

Steenhusien expressed that mismanagement does seem to be the biggest challenge at the site. “We have to make sure that things that need to be dumped here are dumped and not medical and toxic waste as well. There needs to be better control of the site because there shouldn’t be people living here given how dangerous it is for public health,” he added.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele