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Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Court to hear SAHRC vs uMsunduzi Municipality landfill site case

11 December 2020

KWAZULU – NATAL - The Pietermaritzburg High Court is on Friday expected to hear an application by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against the uMsunduzi Municipality over its New England landfill site.

The commission accused the municipality of violating the Constitution by mismanaging the site, which is seen as a human and environmental disaster.

The commission previously told Eyewitness News that poor management of the site had contributed to the emission of toxic fumes and outbreaks of fire in Pietermaritzburg.

SAHRC manager for KwaZulu-Natal, Lloyd Lotz, said they wanted the court to declare that the uMsunduzi Municipality had violated Section 24 of the Constitution, which guarantees all citizens the right to a safe environment.

Lotz said they wanted the court to supervise the municipality and ensure it followed the law.

The local community welcomed the court action by the Human Rights Commission, saying the site had been the cause of great pain in the community for more than a decade.

Thembinkosi Ntshangase, the chairperson of the local Sobantu Ratepayers' Association, said: “The last fire we had in this landfill site affected a lot of people in this community - three kids were admitted to hospital and two people passed on as a result of the smoke.”

The uMsunduzi Municipality has not yet responded to queries byEyewitness News on the matter.

Source: EWN

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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