Bosmont business shut down in battle against environmental negligence

​The City of Johannesburg has taken a bold stand against the environmental degradation. Concerns by residents regarding persistent air pollution have propelled the city’s Environmental Management Inspectors (EMI) to act.

In response to escalating complaints, a team of Environmental Health officials, Green Scorpions (EMIs), Emergency Management Services, and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department descended on No 39 Bansfield, Industrial North.

The focus was Jin Shan Manufacturing, which has been accused of emitting harmful fumes day and night, adversely affecting the local community.

The team requested compliance documentation with environmental laws, specifically citing the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 10 of 2004. The company failed to produce any documentation, resulting in the immediate arrest of the manager.

Adhering to the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, the City issued notices of intention to act against the company. With no response from the company, the interdict was executed. Within a week, the company halted its operations, dismantled equipment, and shut down despite claims of intending to rectify its actions. Operating without the requisite Atmospheric Emission Licence, Environmental Authorisation, and/or Waste Management Licence constitutes a criminal offense. 

The potential penalties, including fines of up to R10 million and imprisonment for up to 10 years, highlight the gravity of such environmental transgressions. Benedict Itholeng, the Assistant Director: Compliance Monitoring in the Impact Management and Compliance Monitoring Unit, commended the Bosmont community for reporting the environmental malpractice. He stressed the importance of citizens knowing their rights and urged them to report any violations to the municipality. “Businesses must conduct their affairs in accordance with legal requirements, including municipal bylaws.”

Itholeng highlighted past successes in closing similar businesses in 2022, underscoring the City’s commitment to upholding legal and bylaw standards.“In 2022, another company engaging in similar activities near a school was shut down. Another company that unlawfully accessed water from the fire hydrant was also closed in the same industrial area. He sent a clear message to businesses: compliance with national laws and local bylaws is non-negotiable.“

“The closure of companies employing similar practices near schools and unlawfully accessing water sends a powerful signal that adherence to regulations is a prerequisite for operating in the City,” Itholeng emphasised.

He stated that the municipality was devoted to sustainable economic development while safeguarding the environment.

“The City desires businesses to thrive and provide economic benefits to local communities while ensuring sustainability through optimal use of existing natural resources and ensuring the protection of the environment,” said Itholeng.

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