Ms Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, presented R5 million in specialized waste management trucks to Cederberg and Matzikama Local Municipalities on Thursday, 09 June 2022, in Citrusdal, Western Cape.
The Cederberg and Matzikama Local Municipalities each acquired a skip loader truck to help with trash management and processing. Only 69 percent of households in Cederberg Municipality have regular waste disposal, but 88 percent of households in Matzikama Municipality have regular waste removal.
“The specialised waste management vehicles also known as the “yellow fleet” will address challenges encountered in providing waste collection services, the eradication of illegal dump sites and with landfill compliance issues. These challenges have a negative impact on our environment, cleanliness of our surroundings; and pose serious health risks to our citizens,” said Minister Creecy.
When households do not have regular waste removal, they resort to informal means of waste disposal and hence the unsightly dump sights develop which attract rats and result in waste contaminating the environment and leaching into our water systems.
The donation of the specialised waste management vehicles to Cederberg and Matzikama Local Municipalities forms part of the more than R44 million worth national intervention launched at Collins Chabane Local Municipality in May 2022.
Other local municipalities that have received these vehicles such as waste compactor trucks, landfill compactors, front end loaders, TLBs and skip loader trucks across the country include Matjhabeng, Collins Chabane, Ba-Phalaborwa, Merafong and Rand West.
To improve waste management in municipalities, the department is assisting in the development of their integrated waste management plans, and training on sustainable waste management practices. We have also co-operated with National Treasury and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to change the Municipal Infrastructure Grant Policy so that municipalities can now access this grant to fund their yellow fleet.
The National Waste Management Strategy was revised in 2020 and focuses on: improving household waste collection; diverting waste from landfills; promoting a circular economy and promoting community awareness of the effects of illegal dumping on their own health and on the environment.
“To achieve the goals of this strategy, all stakeholders must play their part: national and provincial government must support municipalities to develop local integrated waste management strategies. We must ensure our landfills comply with the regulatory environment and waste does not leach into ground water or into the soil. We must invest in the yellow fleet and every year we must ensure more and more homes have access to safe waste disposal,” says Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy.
She added that the private sector must promote the circular economy and divert waste from landfills as government has already set up the regulatory environment for extended producer responsibility schemes to promote re-cycling in the packaging, electronics and lighting industries with recent regulations gazetted for new sectors such as used oil and pesticides.
Government and the private sector must work with waste reclaimers so that we build a dignified waste reclaiming industry that promotes waste diversion from landfills, promotes the circular economy and gives a decent livelihood to the tens of thousands of men and women who do the daily backbreaking work of the recycling industry.
After the handover of the trucks, Minister Creecy joined a clean-up in the area as part of the Good Green Deeds programme. The Good Green Deeds campaign seeks to change people’s attitudes, behaviours towards responsible management of waste, and keeping their neighbourhoods clean, green and safe. During the launch of the Good Green Deeds in 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa called on citizens, business, industry, labour and civil society to perform just one Good Green Deed a day such as recycling waste, or conducting clean-up activities.