Vissershok Landfill – City flip-flops and ignores professionals

The speech I delivered in the City council meeting.  Allocated time –  2 min. The City has spent many years planning this contract, consulting with internal and external professionals, politically guided by the Mayoral Committee member. The proposal is to contract for 10 years. The Mayoral Committee suddenly decides to revert to a 3-year contract.

The ACDP does not support Mayco’s recommendation:

This proposed contract took 2 years to put together – with the strategic political guidance and support of the then Mayco member,  Cllr Sonnenberg.

Why does the DA now seek to undo two years of concentrated professional work and planning, and why flip flop on two years of strategic political direction?

By reverting to a 3 year contract you are ignoring professional advice that a 10 year contract is the best and safest approach – financially, and from a risk management perspective.

The line departments recommendation also seeks to negate the well-known and costly risk of who carries responsibility, obligation and liability for design, construction and management.  Mayco is now ignoring this risk, after previously acknowledging it for many years.

By adopting Mayco’s recommendation, the City will be further exposed – not shielded – from the well-known risks and shortcomings listed in the report.  Thus, the possibility of closure, rehabilitation and decommissioning of Vissershok within the next 10 – 12 years, which is the lifespan of this landfill, becomes a further risk.

The ACDP’s biggest problem is that no single consultant exists with overall responsibility for the development of the site.  We agree with the line department that this is a high risk for City, when it says  [quote] that “a landfill slope failure, should it occur, could result in high losses to the City as it would be extremely difficult to allocate/apportion responsibility, and Council would be unlikely to be successfully claim against the Consultant’s Professional Indemnity insurance.”

We also note there is no proposal to increase the City’s own insurance to cover slope failure and other high risks, by having no single entity to claim against.

  1. Mayco’s argument that landfills are being phased out internationally is correct – but that is all the more reason why an integrated and consolidated approach towards closure, rehabilitation and decommissioning is needed in 10 or so years time. The way to phase it out is to support the line departments recommendation
  2. Can the City afford to dispose of waste through alternative means, especially when various, new alternative are still in their infancy? The answer is No!

By ignoring the line Departments recommendations on p 34, Mayco is ensuring that Vissershok will not close at the end of its lifespan, that the City remains at high risk in respect of insurance claims, and opens to the certainty of site pollution it’s not closed properly.

The ACDP does not support Mayco’s recommendation

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