Swellendam Enviro Solutions Forum

Swellendam Enviro Solutions Forum
If you have comments on the above, please put them on this page or on the Facebook page Swellendam Enviro Solutions


Services available in Swellendam at the moment


  • Swellendam Meubelmark: Jaques Muller; 0285143586
  • Stiglingh Veilings
  • CJ Uil
  • CJ‘s Trading and Angling: CJ Jordaan; 084-571 1232
  • Contents of home sales: Francois Otto; 073-391 3322


  • SPCA shop
  • Hospice shop
  • Ons Winkel,
  • Solidariteit
  • Contents of home sales: Francois Otto; 073-391 3322


  • Marietta Windvogel; 0766692247

Glass – all sorts of glass / Tin / Paper – newspaper..office paper..magazines…..Milk cartons (we didn’t take it before but we do now.) Plastic – all sorts of plastic bottles and bags and containers…Black pipe (the pipe that the farmers use)

REUSE Egg Boxes Plastic Shopping Bags Boxes Clean Jars

  • The Earth Centre Behind Grace and Merci Restaurant


  • Metals: Leon Meyer; 076-264 3098
  • Batteries: Hein de Jager; 082-775 1958
  • Batteries:Billy McKelvin; 082-346 0363


  • Bokmakiri Books, Carlton Mall


  • Supaquik
Outstanding and working on it

Oil, chemical waste, Bio-degradable garden refuse; a local nursery used to take it. Plastic and mixed waste caused them to stop. This can be solved.


We invite citizens in the Swellendam Municipal Area to join this Facebook Group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/1082813192082805 If you are passionate about this environment which we share, join us! We are looking to find ways to protect it, respect it, restore it and give it the best chance it has to survive. The forum is equivalent to a chat room, bringing awareness to various issues and to their possible solutions, sharing discoveries and the research we each do in areas of interest, and finding ways to gather together and get our hands dirty every now and then.

There is no formal body or leader of this group, just a few admins taking care of the Facebook page and sharing information, ideas and a general sense of positivity.


In January 2020, a group of concerned citizens (Clean Air) got together to raise awareness around the toxins that were being spewed into our environment from fires that had been burning on the Bontebok landfill site for years on and off. Within 12 days, the fires were extinguished and the management of the site was taken over by the municipal manager. Since then it has been cleaned up and seems to be managed well. In early March the Mayor called a public meeting to discuss the waste management situation and share possible futures, and after that the Clean Air whatsapp group was closed as it had fulfilled its function of having the fires extinguished.

Some of the Clean Air members initiated the Swellendam Enviro Solutions Forum facebook group for all those interested in continuing discussions regarding our environment in a broader sense.

These members have continued to liaise with the municipality to gather information, and have suggested we form a sub-group of SES as an interface with the municipality. The idea of this sub-group has been welcomed by the municipality, but is yet to be formed.

The areas of interest are:

  • reducing air pollution
  • upgrading how we manage waste – specifically creating a recycling system that works
  • regenerating the environment
  • arranging public events to bring awareness around environmental issues

Some of the projects undertaken by members of the group, assisted by volunteers, or led by other environmental groups are


Sometimes embarking on what seems a win – win situation can lead to some interesting discoveries. Assumptions can be made about what trees are suitable for the area – planting begins with great eagerness, and then experts with a great deal more knowledge pop up and the erstwhile enthusiasm is shot down in flames – “these trees are indigenous to South Africa, but not in the Swellendam Area”

Just an update on the river. Most of our efforts has been involved cleaning, picking up rubbish and digging out the difficult stuff. We have also cut down alien invasive species such as Spaanseriet and Black Wattle. Their removal is required by law and if on Municipal ground they again are not abiding by the law. We have planted over 40 indigenous trees which include False Olive, Tree Fuchsia, Breede River Yellowwood, Wild Peach, Red Karee and Wild Almond. The tree list was sent by Johann van Biljon from Green Intaba

But what is so wonderful about this group is the shared positivity and drive to find solutions. We are all learning – education about the environment is one of our core aims and so we were pleased to have the input of someone who had depth of knowledge about the subject.

Subsequently a member of the group contacted Lumka Madolo who is now supporting the efforts of the group with information and access to potential funding initiatives. She has visited the site and her report will be published soon.

Lumka is currently finalizing her Masters degree in Environmental Management specialising in river rehabilitation. She is the founder and director of Siyindalo Environmental Services involved or responsible for the ZWUA/NRM/WWF-SA Riviersonderend Restoration Project. She was kind enough to take us to a project whereby they restored a section of the river where a contractor had bulldozed the bank after building a bridge. It was great to see the river lined with Keurboom and palmiet amongst many other species. A similar thing was done to our river bank after the floods in 2008 where a contractor turned the river into a canal. She is very keen to put her company at work in sourcing funding and setting up a community based program to restore the entire river. This involves setting up a community based nursery which would provide much needed training, skills and employment for our youth.

SES group

29th June: Met with Lumka. She is quite keen on the river restoration project. Took her on a short tour of the Klip River which is totally overgrown with Black Wattle and Beefwood. We then did a short inspection of the Koornlands River. Lumka will investigate funding and get back to us on the way forward.

SES group
“From the health of our water to where it comes from in nature: our rivers and wetlands. Lumka Madolo contributes to a #GreenerWorld by restoring our rivers with local waterwise plants.”
This beautiful human being picks up rubbish in the field next to the river every day.



Take Personal Responsibility

We have in Swellendam a wonderful project that might become orphaned soon. Andrew of Masbiekerskloof project put out the word that he’ll be moving along. He had a great vision and followed up with physical action and huge community involvement. What will become of the project? Cleaning up an open area is not a once off. It is an ongoing effort. Ask the municipality, they know . To a significant portion of us garbage is acceptable and we throw it wherever we please. To some of us it is not and we pick up what we find. To take from a community what they have (in your eyes a dump site) and replace it with something else of your choice (in your eyes a pretty green park with short green grass and expensive equipment, like on the video) might or might not be the solution. I think simple solutions might be key. If you want the garbage picked up do so. Ask a friend to help. Ask the guy living opposite the cleared area if he would mind adding the waste to his waste stream. Doing that will send a message. Ask the guy next door to help. Happen to have a ball and kick it about a bit to invlove the children. Assign trivial values to different garbage items and have a treasure hunt. Play and have fun while cleaning up. But bever forget – you decided there must be change. What you do not drive do not exist. It is a lifestyle…

Beneke de Wet


  1. Jane Walker

    Every morning I walk my dogs and pick up tins, plastic and glass which has been dumped and as there was no recycling operational I had no choice but to put it out with my rubbish to be collected by the Municipality. I am delighted that I can now it to the recycling outlet in Production Street.

  2. Pierre Fourie

    It is clear that the Municipality who’s responsibility the dump is, don’t have a clue how to run it or to contract a qualified contractor.
    It is a shame to let a beautiful town like our down like this.

  3. Nancy

    Remember folks we are paying an extra 15% increase in refuse fees from the last year as we were promised that our rubbish was going to travel further to Karwyerskraal. We were told that there would be no families and animals/waste pickers living on the dump. Fires were over and only garden rubble will be there. Well that has not happened. Go and visit and see for yourself. Our rubbish is strewn all over, fires have started. No waste manager has been appointed only an adhoc contractor. Again there is mismanagementand neglect. Fires are raging. The air is being polluted again. Familes are living under these dreadful contitions. If the Muncipality do not do their job and actually lie about how things are going to happen they will be reported again and they will not earn my vote. Until and unless we have a Rate Payers association here as every town even Greyton have we are doomed. The Muni are not accountable. Cmon folks it is time to stand up and be counted. Other Muncipalities are being taken over by residents. Its time for change.

  4. I may be completely head in the clouds about this… but I thought… and I don’t know where I got the info from – that the waste pickers were going to be trained in recycling and given jobs at the recycling place in Production Street, Maybe I dreamed it! Is that not a possibility? I feel so terrible for them. Evicting them – and I know they should be, as they can’t possibly live there – is going to make them homeless and without income, so presumably they will become a different kind of problem (crime? drug dealing? begging?) to be solved …


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