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Metro reopens Rietfontein Landfill | African Reporter

Ekurhuleni Mayor Nkosindiphile Xhakaza officially reopened the Rietfontein Landfill on Tuesday morning after months of closure.

“We must give confidence to the residents that there is leadership in the city. We are fast-tracking the delivery of services to the communities,” he said.

The community living around the site’s borders closed it in August 2023. For months, the metro tried several times to reopen it, but the community refused.

The Rietfontein Landfill has been a thorn in the flesh of Kwa-Thema Ext 4 residents affected by its stench.

“This is a step forward. The site was closed due to operational challenges affecting its effectiveness and sustainability. The closure was a wakeup call to the city, highlighting the need for improved waste management,” Xhakaza explained.

The customer relations manager for Springs, Xoli Tshabalala, and the customer relations manager for Kwa-Thema, Andries Nkabinde.

The site is contracted to Khabokedi Waste Management.

“I am already impressed with the running of the site and the knowledge and expertise of the man at the helm,” added Xhakaza.

Sipho Makhasana, the director of Khabokedi Waste Management, explained the stages of the operation.

“Access control, public offloading, traffic management and work phase in our daily business. We promote recycling, and that is why we let the public pick, take what they can, and sell it elsewhere,” he said.

All the waste is weighed at the weighbridge when coming into the site. The contractor also manages the waste byproducts to ensure they do not contaminate the water and other ground resources.

The officials said they are ready to get their hands dirty to get the city clean again.

Makhasana said part of the challenge in managing the Rietfontein Landfill is that it is close to people’s homes.

“A buffer zone is the distance between a site and the nearest community. However, there is no 1km distance between us and the community, so operations need to ensure they do not negatively impact the lives of the people living around here,” he explained.

The Rietfontein Landfill site receives general waste and is the only site in Ekurhuleni that receives liquid waste for treatment and disposal.

It disposes of about 20 000 tons of waste monthly. Ward 76 Clr Mike du Toit said he could not be happier that the site is open again.

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“There has been increased illegal dumping over the past few months. However, this is only part of the job. We will not restore our city’s cleanliness if we do not enforce the by-laws on illegal dumping and littering. We also need the buy-in of the EMPD to ensure they impose those laws,” he added.

Induna Babu Sokhela, a community leader from Kwa-Thema Hostel, said he is excited that his people will again benefit from Rietfontein.

“Our people pick the waste for recyclable materials, some of which they can sell to scrap yards. People can make a living for themselves. They work well and had no issues when it was operational,” he said.

Sokhela said the community he represents asked him to inform the MMC the people want the landfill reopened.

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