EnviroServ responds to criminal charge allegations

The Department of Environmental Affairs is currently investigating the malodour at Shongweni Landfill site, owned by waste management company, EnviroServ. PHOTO: Lloyd Mackenzie.

DESPITE recent reports about criminal charges that have been laid against EnviroServ’s Group CEO, Dean Thompson in his personal capacity, the waste management company dispelled these claims.

Thompson said on the contrary, the current criminal charges have been laid are against EnviroServ as a company and not him. He added that to date, the company has not received any further charges, which relates to the odour problems experienced at the Shongweni Landfill since April last year.

“We are currently engaged in an extended six month plan, tabled with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the community, which we are confident will mitigate the issue.

“We have and will continue to engage with our legal counsel prior to the case being heard on 11 April. We continue to operate a legally-compliant site and believe that our track record of being a leading responsible waste management company will be upheld,” added Thompson.

 

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The allegations were raised at a press briefing in Durban on Wednesday by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

Grant Walters, the (DEA) director of enforcement for environmental impact and pollution reported that Thompson was cited in his personal capacity so there would be some personal consequences.

He also said that if there was a guilty verdict, Thompson could face a maximum fine of R10 million and/or jail time.

 

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Walters said the decision to prosecute was taken only after the DEA commissioned additional studies to be undertaken by EnviroServ after the company’s initial tests did not give “an indication of what was happening”.

Last month, the KwaZulu-Natal Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) confirmed that EnviroServ would be charged with contravening the National Air Quality Act but there’s also a possibility that the contravention of eThekwini Metro by-laws, could be added to the charges. The landfill is also under administrative investigation.

A decision concerning the licence being revoked or closure of the landfill is expected to be made soon.

 

 

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  AUTHOR
Deshni Ramkissoon-Pillay
Journalist

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