Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has expressed optimism about progress made so far on the Sedibeng Sewer Scheme Project and Vaal River System.
This as interventions are being made through the Emfuleni Section 63 intervention in the Sedibeng District in Gauteng.
Mchunu visited the Vaal region on Tuesday to assess the upgrades and refurbishments undertaken to improve critical bulk pipelines and pump stations in the regional networks.
“The upgrades are intended to ensure that wastewater systems function optimally and more importantly to eventually put an end to the protracted pollution at Vaal River and its tributaries,” a Department of Water and Sanitation statement read, adding that Rand Water was the implementing agent.
This comes after the Minister invoked and placed Emfuleni Local Municipality under Section 63 of the Water Services Act in 2021 and took over water and sanitation services.
The Minister embarked on a walkabout at about eight construction sites in the Sedibeng region.
He also made a stop at Sebokeng Wastewater Treatment Works, which is currently being salvaged and upgraded from 100 M/L to a further 50 M/L a day, Leeuwkuil Wastewater Treatment Plant and Rietspruit Wastewater Treatment.
The delegation also visited the Rothdene Pump Station, which falls within the Midvaal Local Municipality, and transfers wastewater to Meyerton Wastewater Treatment Works.
According to the department, the pump station services Meyerton, Henley on Klip and Rothdene.
“Although the issue of vandalism of infrastructure reared its head in almost all the treatment plants visited. Minister Mchunu expressed contentment about the progress made.”
Mchunu also inspected several ongoing rehabilitations of pipelines.
The department said Mchunu was impressed by Rand Water as an implementing agent and the notable work it has done in addressing sewer spillages and water pollution.
“Two weeks ago, we instructed Rand Water as the implementing agent to present a report of progress that they have made in Emfuleni. They gave us a comprehensive presentation showing a lot of progress overall. We are here to monitor, evaluate and verify if indeed there is progress. I can confirm that there is a vast difference between before and now and we are excited about that,” Mchunu said.
The department believes that the progress made is making a difference in the residents’ lives.
The department said the Minister also made a courtesy visit to Nomali Mhlambi’s house in Vereeniging, whose house floated in the spillage sewer for years before the issue was addressed through the Emfuleni Section 63 intervention.
“Mrs Mhlambi expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Department of Water and Sanitation and Rand Water for coming to her rescue after Emfuleni Local Municipality dismally failed to resolve the matter.”
The Minister’s delegation included the Executive Mayor of Emfuleni Local Municipality Sipho Radebe, Rand Water Chairperson Ramateu Monyokolo and Chief Executive Sipho Mosai, officials from Rand Water, the department, Office of the Premier, and the Emfuleni Municipality. – SAnews.gov.za