EnviroServ’s regional medical waste incineration facility in Bloemfontein was investigated by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) after complaints from affected community members were lodged against the company. The residents complained that EnviroServ’s incinerator has been billowing out large volumes of smoke for the past two years. The residents argued that as a result the air in the area was polluted and was affecting the health of the residents in the area.
Local resident Mr. Johan De Beer first lodged a complaint to EnviroServ in 2013. EnviroServ informed Mr. De Beer that they have a licence and they were not doing anything wrong. Mr. De Beer then contacted the Municipality, without success. After this he called the Environmental Helpline who assisted him in lodging a complaint with the SAHRC. Mr. De Beer informed the SAHRC that since moving into the area two and a half years ago, he had been suffering from various medical conditions such as sinusitis, swollen glands, nose bleed, dizziness and headaches. Mr. De Beer as well as other community members were hospitilised due to the emissions.