Upper Highway Air memorandum of demands handed over to EnviroServ at the Toxic Trek

04 February 2017

Memorandum of demands delivered by the Upper Highway Air NPC to EnviroServ Waste Management (Pty) Ltd

We members of the Upper Highway Air NPC hereby submit the following list of demands to the Board and Management of EnviroServ Waste Management (Pty) Ltd.

From the Upper Highway Air NPC on behalf of interested and affected parties, and  in collaboration with the communities of Dassenhoek, Hillcrest, KwaNdengezi, Shongweni, Kloof, Assagay and all surrounding and affected communities.


We, the residents of the abovementioned communities declare that it is our inalienable Constitutional Right to live in an environment that does not negatively affect our health and well-being, including physical and psychological. We also have a right to information held by you where our rights or interests are affected.

We believe these Rights have been violated by EnviroServ Waste Management (Pty) Ltd, and any of its functionaries knowingly party to the conduct if its operations, which has caused the pollution of the environment in which we live and who have refused us information concerning what is being accepted for disposal at the landfill and what its known risks to human health and the environment are.

We believe that EnviroServ is ignoring our constitutional rights and the increased incidence of illnesses apparently related to the foul odour, not to mention the psychological effects living in the stench of a toxic landfill is having on us. By refusing to tell us what is going into the landfill and what its possible toxic effects on humans are, you are only serving to increase our fear that the health effects are being caused by the hazardous, ineffectively or untreated waste being accepted at the landfill.

Residents that are subjected to the gasses emanating from the Shongweni landfill are experiencing the following symptoms:

Headaches, respiratory related illnesses, Nosebleeds, Chronic sinusitis, asthma attacks, new asthma diagnoses, Nausea, Vomiting, Eczema, Bronchitis and Pneumonia to name a few.

These symptoms have all been recorded in over 500 affidavits that are presently with the Green Scorpions and we have over 1,300 Interested and Affected party statements.

Our young children are particularly badly affected by the EnviroServ stink. Dean Thompson, you are the CEO of EnviroServ, do you know what it is like to watch your child gasping for breath? Choking on fumes? Vomiting in pain? Lying listless in your arms?

The middle class communities in Hillcrest have been experiencing these symptoms for over a year, but the poorer, rural communities have been experiencing these symptoms for up to 15 YEARS!

During those 15 years, these affected community members have made their symptoms and concerns known to EnviroServ as well as government in their legislated monitoring committee meetings, and have either been ignored, brushed off or been persuaded not to complain because of Corporate Social Investment programmes.  Sekwanele manje! Enough is enough!

We are here to tell EnviroServ, that as our Democracy deepens, and as communities work and live closer together, these matters can no longer be swept under the bureaucratic carpet. We won’t allow it. ENOUGH!

We are together, and we march as one voice, one community! AMANDLA!

We are all affected by the stench that is taking place in our communities. The same stench that is filling our lungs and our blood, irrespective of our race or religious beliefs. ENOUGH!


  1. Full compliance with the law,
  2. The capping, closure and rehabilitation of the Shongweni landfill valley 2 active cell if the smell if going to continue and the health effects going to continue.
  3. Relocation of all leachate and contaminated storm water from Shongweni to an appropriately licensed and compliant facility,
  4. To terminate all plans for the opening of Valley 3,
  5. Install active gas extraction for full odour management on the capped cell,
  6. Stop allowing scavenging and endangering people’s lives.
  7. Medical assistance from EnviroServ for affected community members – at EnviroServ’s expense.
  8. Compensation of current medical expenses spent– at EnviroServ’s expense,
  9. Compensation for money spent on air purifiers etc – at EnviroServ’s expense,
  10. Air purifiers to be placed in all classrooms in local schools – at EnviroServ’s expense,
  11. Air purifiers for all local clinics – at EnviroServ’s expense,
  12. Dean Thompson is to stop misleading his clients and the community,
  13. EnviroServ to be open and transparent in all dealings with Upper Highway Air NPC as well as the community,
  14. EnviroServ to admit that they are the odour source affecting our community.
  15. EnviroServ to tell us what is being accepted at the landfill, from 2013 to date and in what quantities, and to disclose to us what the possible risks to human and animal health is, as well as the possible effects on our environment. We are entitled to know what is being disposed of in our midst.

Upper Highway Air