Press Invite

Community people from around South Africa Gather to Challenge Government on Poor Landfill Site Management

16 February 2005 - groundWork [1] and community organisations [2] from around South Africa gather on Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th February to work on a strategy of tackling poor environmental governance and around waste landfill (dump) sites which are often operating in poor black areas.

This is the first South African national landfill strategy meeting, where community people will seek to develop a joint national strategy to challenge environmental injustices posed

Deputy Minster of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Rejoice Mabudafhasi will be opening the three-day gathering.

Venue: Glenmore Pastoral Centre
10 Donlene Crescent, Glenmore
Time: 09:00 hrs
Day: Thursday

Hazardous industrial waste and general waste from rich affluent areas are often dumped in poor black communities in South Africa. This is a legacy of apartheid planning which is still evident today in places such as Clare Estate and Chatsworth in the eThekwini Municipality.

groundWork and its associate, groundWork USA have worked with groups [3] challenging poor waste management practices in the USA to call for support for improved waste management in South Africa.

Peter Montague, a long time environmental rights and justice campaigner of the Environmental Research Foundation (http://www.rachel.org) supports this initiative by communities in South Africa and states “if you bury toxic materials in the ground, you will contaminate the groundwater for future generations. No amount of science or engineering can prevent this from happening”.

On Saturday, 19th the participants will go on a toxic tour of the three landfill sites in the eThekwini Municipality, namely the Bisarsar Road (Clare Estate), Bul-Bul (Chatsworth) and Umlazi IV (Umlazi) to understand how poor environmental governance has led to dumpsites been placed in black residential areas.

For more information call:

Llewellyn Leonard 082 353 5029/033 342 5662
Bobby Peek 082 464 1383/033 342 5662

[1] groundWork is an environmental justice campaigning organisation working with vulnerable communities challenging air pollution, waste and corporate abuse.

[2] List of SA participating organisations:

Chatsworth Civil Association
Environmental Justice Networking Forum – Gauteng
Shongweni Development Committee
Silverglen Civic Association
Siyathuthuka Youth Development Forum
Sobantu Environmental Desk Network ‘96
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance
Sundays River Valley Community Forum
Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa – Eastern Cape

[3] List of USA supporting organisations

Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, www.chej.org
Citizens Against a Radioactive Environment
Communities for a Better Environment, www.cbecal.org
Environmental Research Foundation, www.rachel.org
Ironbound Community Corporation
New Jersey Environmental Foundation
New Jersey Work Environmental Council
Southwest Research and Information Center, www.sric.org