Concerned organisations representing local communities, businesses, farmers, wine cellars and tourism establishments are appealing the waste license and environmental authorisation issued for the new “mega” rubbish dump (landfill site) planned for Worcester. The waste license gives permission to develop a huge 50 ha site right next to the Hex and Breede Rivers.
The rubbish dump will receive “concentrated” wet and toxic wastes leftover after all useful recyclable materials have been removed. The regional dump will serve towns and rural communities of Robertson, Ashton, Bonnievale, Montagu, Touwsriver, De Doorns, Rawsonville, Ceres, Tulbagh, Wolseley and even Op-die-Berg, Koue Bokkeveld.
The group of interested and affected organisations have consistently participated in the process, highlighting the shortcomings of the environmental impact assessment process and the lack of suitable site alternatives, technologies and transportation methods. The organisations have consistently motivated that there are many suitable alternative sites which were ignored by the consultants, including disused quarries, clay borrow pits and unpopulated remote areas, all close to major transport routes.
The current Worcester landfill which is nearing its end of life, is often seen burning illegally. The toxic smoke and fumes from the dump can have a very negative impact on the health of neighbouring communities, while the smoke is a nuisance burden on the tourism establishments trying its best to establish Worcester as a tourist destination.
The history of poor management of the existing Worcester landfill site does nothing to assure that the new landfill will be managed any differently. The long list of mitigation measures required to lessen impacts and prevent pollution will require constant intervention and money for generations, if not 100’s of years to come. A concern raised is the waste to be disposed of will be the concentrated, toxic waste fraction, remaining after recycling has removed all useful materials (metal, glass, plastic, paper, cardboard etc). This landfill site will place further pressure and negatively impact the wine, olive and tourism industries, as it introduces a significant water pollution risk to the Hex and Breede rivers. Lastly, the developing the landfill site so close to Worcester, a major rural growth centre, prevents future housing and other developments close to the site.
Our plea is that the MEC of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Mr Anton Bredell, Mayor C. De Bruyn and Mayor Antoinette Steyn will hear our appeal and revoke the licenses. The appellants are serious and have already spent more than R80,000 on legal fees, if we lose this appeal we will take this matter forward to the Cape High Court.
- Executive Mayor Cape Winelands District Municipality
Alderman CA De Bruyn
- Executive Mayor Breede Valley Municipality
Clr Antoinette Steyn
- Minister Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
MEC Anton Bredell
- Premier of the Western Cape Province
Hon. Helen Zille