St Francis Dump Site an eyesore and health hazard
The following correspondence was received from a group of concerned St Francis residents who are calling for the immediate closure of the St Francis Dump Site
“The St Francis dump site is in a terrible state.
It is illegal and overfull with no control, dumping is taking place outside the gate area and poses a serious fire hazard for the residential areas in the vicinity. Vagrants and livestock roam the area unhindered and it is increasingly developing into a flashpoint for drug trading and crime.
At least six fires have broken out during the last month and a toxic concoction of all kinds of matter is burning, fanned by the prevailing winter North Northwest wind it drifts and settles over the surrounding villages. The stench is unbearable and older residents and those suffering from respiratory problems are adversely effected, this has become a very serious health problem. The area is simply not suitable for any form of waste management.
Aviation activities at the nearby runway at St Francis Field could be compromised. The westerly take-off point is within three hundred meters of a smouldering dump and this poses a risk to aircraft and sub-standard visibility could necessitate periodic closure of the runway.
It is suspected that the Dump is being purposely burnt to make space. There appears to be no infrastructure in place to clear the area that is already over full.
It is difficult to understand what exactly is happening. The dump/transfer station has been declared illegal and the Department of Economic Development Environmental Affairs and Tourism issued a permit ordering the closure. The Kouga Municipality placed a notice in the local Express Newspaper announcing closure but apparently are having a re-think and the matter is about to be delayed. Who are the decision makers? Have the public and the local Civic Associations been consulted? It appears the Fire Department have not been approached for an evaluation of the current and ongoing fire risks.
The Dump facilities at Humansdorp have been upgraded and declared operational. Surrounding areas like Jeffries Bay, Ashton Bay and Paradise beach travel to Humansdorp to dump. This indeed is the theme throughout the Country, illegal landfills are being closed and replaced by properly licensed and equipped sites.
This has now become a far greater issue than just an unsightly mismanaged Dump, the health aviation and fire hazards are serious and it is about time we start holding however is delaying the closure personally responsible, after all there could be lives at stake.