DA welcomes overdue Air Quality by-law in Ekurhuleni, calls for strict implementation
by Cllr. Amanda Davison — DA Member of the Environment, Resource and Waste Management in Ekurhuleni
Date: 03 August 2021
Type: Media statement
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Ekurhuleni welcomes the Draft Air Quality Management by-law which will soon be released for public comment.
The by-law has been drafted to ensure the protection of Ekurhuleni’s residents’ health by maintaining stricter air quality control standards, which recently have been polluted by toxic gases, such as excessive carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane, emanating from mines, industrial areas and landfill sites.
According to findings made in the National Air Quality Report back in 2014, Ekurhuleni was identified as having the worst quality of air due to high levels of industrial pollution. Of equal concern is the flouting of environmental regulations where many industries around the Metro operate without Air Emission Licenses. In addition, the lacklustre implementation and lack of commitment to clean energy principles by the ANC-led Metro has also contributed to the poor air quality placing resident’s health under threat.
The ANC-led Metro, along with their coalition partners* pays lip service to the City’s commitment to sustainable practices in contributing to a “green city”. Toxic levels of air pollution due to outdated policies along with the Metro’s inability to enforce environmental regulations undermines the commitment to the green city concept.
It is, therefore, imperative that the by-law be implemented as a matter of urgency to provide the basis for stricter air quality control to enforce standards in the interest of protecting resident’s health, which has been under threat in recent times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The DA calls for it to be expedited for public participation and that the Metro be held to account in their aspirations and promises of creating a clean and green City. In addition, the Party calls on the public to submit their views and opinions as part of the process in order to address the poor quality of air in our communities — our health depends on it.
*ANC Coalition Partners: African Independent Congress (AIC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Patriotic Alliance (PA) and Independent Ratepayers Association of South Africa (IRASA)
Cllr. Amanda Davison
DA Member of the Environmental Resource and Waste Management in Ekurhuleni