IT ALL STILL STINKS!

As you will all know in the Upper Highway the area, the stink is still around. Complaints have been on the rise from 479 in February 2020 to 713 in April 2020. In March 2020, EnviroServ had their waste management license renewed/issued anew. We didn’t know until yesterday, as the DEFF refused to give us a copy, had not loaded a copy on the SAWIC (the state information site where it should be accessible) and EnviroServ, until yesterday, had also not provided it despite numerous requests to their lawyers. So the community was being held up in addressing this issue or even seeing what we were in for. Yesterday, EnviroServ lawyers gave us a copy. It was allegedly received by their client on 26 March 2020. Click here to view.

As you can see, despite it having been a question of the renewal of the license issued in 2014, it is a new license another for 10 years! Nuisance and odour is only to be minimised, not stopped. So now DEFF claim the community is to tolerate nuisance and odour contrary to the Bylaws.

The DEFF claimed to have sent site inspection teams to investigate the site and complaints but cannot provide any feedback despite months of asking. Seems even emails are a chore in lockdown… but we doubt they have even gone as DEFF have only told us what EnviroServ have told them which is:

“The permanent flare has been operational since beginning of December 19 and running really well.

The initial seeding of the permanent bio-scrubber started in the last week of March and commissioning is ongoing but at a reduced rate due to lockdown.

The monitoring results continue to show really low levels measured on site and in Winston Park.”

Its good to know the DEFF are still relying on the evidence of compliance from the polluter and not investigations by their teams.

On the appeal against the STPs granted by Ethekwini, and despite its intention to secure significant increases on rates and taxes, they have still refused to set down any of the appeals launched by the community and UHA against the issue of the STPS. This is despite the fact that almost a year has lapsed since the last appeal was launched, and 18 months since the appeal against the first STP.

The Public Protector’s office did nothing about the complaint, and the Internal Investigations Unit of Ethekwini did nothing, other than to say the appeal would be heard because the Municipality assured them it would.

The Government watchdogs are dead and Ethekwini’s lawyers, Livingston Leandy, and the appeal lawyers supposedly appointed to administer the appeal, Venns Attorneys, have done nothing to ensure the appeal is heard. Did they advise Ethekwini to do the right thing and they just ignored it? Or did they advise them just to delay and by the time the Community got to court it would all be academic? Perhaps someone should ask them?

The criminal matter will probably have to be adjourned given the lockdown and in any event, EnviroServ will raise their constitutional attack in the criminal court against the legislation, again. All the while they continue to trade and the Community is left to deal with the stench from both its operations and the rotten administration who permits it.

As many of you know, some of the UHA Directors have moved away and we are calling for nominations on directors to be appointed to manage the next leg of the fight. Please mail us on admin@upperhighwayair.co.za if you are interested.

Upper Highway Air

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