The FF Plus lodged a criminal complaint at the Vanderbijlpark police station today against the chief administrator of the Emfuleni Local Municipality (Evaton, Sebokeng, Vaal Oewer, Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging), Gilberto Martins, for violating the National Water Act, the National Environmental Management Act and, primarily, Section 24 of the Constitution.
This Section determines that every person has the right to an environment that is not detrimental to their wellbeing or health.
The complaint follows the pollution of the Vaal River by sewage from broken sewage plants flowing into the river.
The FF Plus had made a submission to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) about the pollution of the Vaal River last year already.
In February this year, the HRC declared the pollution of the Vaal River system an infringement on human rights and holds the Emfuleni Municipality, the Gauteng Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) as well as the Department of Water and Sanitation accountable for the total collapse of Emfuleni’s water purification systems.
The party welcomed the intervention at the time, but expressed serious doubts about whether the government will be able to earmark the R1 billion needed to repair the Emfuleni Local Municipality sewage plants any time soon.
The FF Plus also asked the Green Scorpions to investigate the matter after the last functioning pump station, which pumps unprocessed sewage to the water purification plants, burnt out.
The other three large pump stations have not been functioning at all for quite a while now and last week, the Rietspruit waterworks came to a standstill due to cable theft.
The pump stations next to the popular Riviera Hotel in Vereeniging and the Emerald Resort and Casino in Vanderbijlpark are also out or order.
The third group of administrators that the Gauteng ANC government assigned to Emfuleni to turn its service delivery around have failed miserably as a result of sheer incompetence.
The FF Plus has cautioned Martins numerous times to implement contingency plans to save Emfuleni from utter ruin.
It seems inevitable that the Municipality’s freefall will end in disaster as loyal taxpayers are plagued by water and power outages and sewage pollution while other services, like garbage disposal, are only provided sporadically.
It is time to hold the administrators of the Municipality, the MEC for COGTA, Lebogang Maile, and the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, accountable the declining state of the Municipality and the pollution of the Vaal River system.
The FF Plus is calling in residents to, in the upcoming local government elections, stand up and stand with the FF Plus and take a strong stand against the mismanagement and destruction of service delivery in Emfuleni.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Gerda Senekal on FF Plus