The Effect of Poor Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Implementation on the Wellbeing of the KwaMathukuza Community, Newcastle Municipality in South Africa

  •  Shadung Moja    
  •  Simphiwe Mnguni    


This study investigated the possible health impacts a waste water treatment plant (WWTP) will have on a community that reside near it. The study area was a low cost housing residential area within the Newcastle municipality in South Africa due to its close proximity to a WWTP. The data was acquired through informal interviews, questionnaires and observations. The participants were recruited mainly from the residents who resides about 5.0 km from the plant, local health caregivers, municipality official and the local government management.

A survey of the study area showed no other possible source of the odorous gases except the WWTP. About 97.0% of respondents have smelt the bad odour that is probably released from the plant. The results also indicates that a significant number of people suffer from headaches, vision, olfactory and breathing problems which could be linked to the nearby WWTP. It was also discovered that the respondents who are at a distance of more than 5.0 km from the WWTP were also negatively impacted by the gases as the residents who are within 5.0 km.

Looking into the future, every development needs to follow the proper procedure of EIA to reduce negative impact on human health. It also means that governments should review the buffer distances between such facilities industry and human settlements.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.