Contractor leaves heaps of rubble behind after reconstruction

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GK CRONJE

30 March 2022

The contractor, employed by the municipality to rehabilitate the road surface, has since failed to rehabilitate the site in question, and has left a large amount of building waste in its wake.

In September 2021, motorists and businesses let out a sigh of relief regarding the rehabilitated Wessel Road. This road was previously a complete nightmare for consumers, but after an elongated court battle between Burlec Electrical and Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM), a court order forced the municipality to repair the route as well as to carry the legal costs incurred by Burlec Electrical. Although most are quite satisfied and grateful that the surface of the roadway is now smooth pothole-free, there is concern from the public and businesses in the area.

Although most of the finishing touches to the project were completed, the municipal contractor dumped the rubble of the rebuilt surface in the nearby field, coupled with several other rubble items and building materials used by the contractors. When the project was apparently completed, the Tribune ePaper sent an enquiry regarding the issues to MLM, to clarify who would take responsibility to clear the rubble. To date, however, MLM has failed to provide feedback, and has simply turned a deaf ear. The debris left by the contractor also attracted the attention of residents of surrounding informal settlements, seizing the opportunity with both hands to dump a wide selection of household refuse, molten cables, garden waste and more into this area as well. According to the latest available by-laws, the term building waste refers to all waste produced during the construction, alteration, repair or demolition of any structure, and includes building rubble, earth, vegetation and rock displaced during such construction, alteration, repair or demolition. The contractor, employed by the municipality to rehabilitate the road surface, has since failed to rehabilitate the site in question, and has left a large amount of building waste in its wake.

The main objects of the applicable by-laws are to ensure that waste is avoided, or where it cannot altogether be avoided, minimized, re-used, recycled, recovered and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner, to promote sustainable development and environmental justice through fair and reasonable measures for the management of waste within the Council's jurisdiction, and ensuring sound waste management practices within residential and industrial environments. The generator of waste, in this instance, the contractor, is compelled by the building waste by-law to ensure that no additions or alteration of any structure should be done without making provision for waste that will be generated from the site.

The by-law also stipulates that the premises on which the building waste is generated, do not become unsightly and no nuisance is caused by accumulated building waste, and that any instruction from the Council regarding the management and storage of building waste, including any structures to be constructed is adhered to. Furthermore, the by-law states that for building waste that is generated, or the developer must ensure that the waste is collected and transported by an accredited service provider. At this time, all of the above point have been ignored and contravened. The Tribune ePaper directed an enquiry to Msukaligwa Local Municipality on 24 March 2022. At the time of publication, no feedback had been received.