On 28 August 2019, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, uplifted the suspension of EnviroServ’s Waste management license, allowing them to fully trade again.

In contradictory terms, she claimed there had been a containment of odours yet the DEA monitor showed that the breaches of the WHO odour annoyance limits were few and far between and of short duration. The DEA monitor proved that in the 45 day period covered by the data provided to UHA, there had been 71 breaches.

The Minister also contradictorily contended that despite there being a containment of odours, that the license conditions must be reviewed to ensure measures are included to prevent and reduce fugitive emissions, this was to include the construction of the permanent flare which is 1.5 years already overdue. This review of the license will not take place until a few months have elapsed. A review which is also overdue, as this was supposed to be done in April 2019 already and in respect of the whole license, not just some of its conditions. It seems the DEFF have already determined that the license will remain valid for the next 5 years.

What this all means, is that the stink continues, and the decision to uplift will have to be challenged by way of a review to the High Court, if the community so mandates, or the Green Scorpions and Minister will have to be directly prevailed upon by community members to take steps to suspend the license again if the stink continues, as it appears it will. For those of you who have already smelt the dump again, there appears to be little chance of it miraculously disappearing, and the Minister seems to think that 71 breaches in 45 days, is few and far between.

The Criminal matter is still pending, and despite EnviroServ claiming it wanted to adjourn the Constitutional challenge to the provisions under which it is being charged in order to negotiate a guilty plea deal, they have not done so. No doubt this was just a delay tactic once more. They simply cannot be taken at their word.

The Municipality has still not prosecuted any of the appeals against the Scheduled Trade Permits granted to EnviroServ, both that in October 2018 or that in July 2019. It deliberately refuses to process the appeals, meaning one cannot review those decisions until the internal appeal are complete. This deliberate, and quite frankly corrupt conduct, is the subject of a complaint to the Public Protector and the CIIU of the Municipality which UHA have initiated.

The Constitutional Challenge is set down for the 15th of November 2019, and the Criminal hearing is set down for 18th October 2019.

UHA will be attending the hearing on the 15 November 2019 to oppose the Constitutional Challenge. You are welcome to attend should you support our laws not being changed to allow for more pollution and environmental degredation.

The civil claim against EnviroServ is still pending, and EnviroServ have despite repeated promises, still failed to discover documents they intend to use at the trial.

EnviroServ still control the monitoring committee, rubber-stamping their agenda so that they can claim in the press that the “independent monitoring committee” endorses and supports them trading.

A public meeting will be convened to discuss the Minister’s latest decision, but this does not stop the community directly addressing the Green Scorpions and the Minister to take action against the continuing stink which should be done. Continued reporting of the stink is also very important.

Lastly, while EnviroServ abuses the Court processes to continually avoid any accountability we urge the community to exercise the commercial power they do have and that is to BOYCOTT EnviroServ and ANY CLIENTS USING THEM FOR BUSINESS, because their Rands and cents are all they care about, not your health or well-being!

We also suggest the community revert to lawful protest action as many of you want to.

Remember, if you do not report it, it did not happen.

Please continue to report, support and donate.

Upper Highway Air