Pollution of Vaal River: FF Plus lodges criminal complaint against Minister of Water and Sanitation

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Pollution of Vaal River: FF Plus lodges criminal complaint against Minister of Water and Sanitation
Pollution of Vaal River: FF Plus lodges criminal complaint against Minister of Water and Sanitation

The FF Plus lodged a criminal complaint at the Vanderbijlpark police station against the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, for violating the National Water Act and the National Environmental Management Act.

The complaint follows the serious pollution of the Vaal River by sewage flowing into the river from broken sewage plants. One of the biggest wastewater treatments works, the Rietspruit sewage treatment plant, has been out of order for two years and consequently, the Sebokeng sewage treatment plant cannot handle the great volumes of untreated sewage.

At the moment, 150 megaliters of untreated sewage is flowing into the river every day and it does not only pose a serious health risk to humans and animals, but it also has a detrimental impact on the ecosystem.

The Sebokeng Hospital recently had to treat three cases of bilharzia. It is suspected that these patients drank the polluted water.

On 2 February 2021, the Department of Water and Sanitation took control of Emfuleni’s sewage treatment plants and, thus, also shouldered the responsibility for upgrading the pump stations to stop the sewage spills into the Vaal River and elsewhere.

Before taking over, the Department undertook to spend R1,2 billion on repairing the broken pump stations. Since then, about R50 million was spent on repairing the River pump station near the Emerald Casino, the Turbo Industrial Park pump station next to the R42 and the pump station situated across from the Riviera Hotel.

And in the meantime, septic tanker trucks are used to transport raw, untreated sewage from Emfuleni to the Vaal River where it is then pumped into the river.

The decay of the Emfuleni Local Municipality must not be tolerated. And, unfortunately, very little came of Minister Mchunu’s turn-around plan.

Section 24 of the Constitution determines that every person has the right to live and work in an environment that is not detrimental to their wellbeing or health. At present, however, that is not the case as residents’ health is being jeopardised as a result of mismanagement, corruption and incompetence.

On 1 November, Emfuleni residents have an opportunity to join the FF Plus in standing up against the ANC to stop the utter decay of Emfuleni.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Gerda Senekal on FF Plus

SOURCEFF Plus