Witbank sewrage problem

AfriForum today handed a letter to the mayor of the
Emalahleni municipality in Witbank, Mpumalanga requesting
him to give attention to the sewage crisis in Naauwpoort
and the surrounding area after an analysis of the water here
identified high levels of E. coli.
The nearby sewage plants are, among other factors,
responsible for this, said Kevin Opperman, Chairperson of
the new AfriForum Witbank branch. “In fact, not one of the
sewage plants in the area is in an acceptable condition. The
equipment is broken and purification dams do not work
properly. As a consequence raw sewage is being dumped
into our rivers and the Witbank Dam.”
A concerned community approached Afriforum for
assistance last week, said Julius Kleynhans, Head of
Environmental Affairs at AfriForum. “The community
believes their health and economic survival is being
threatened because the municipality fails to maintain the
sewage plant.”
According to Opperman, a recent water analysis revealed
that there were more than 2 420 units of C. coli per 100 ml
in the water. National standards only allow 1 000 units per
100 ml. “AfriForum believes that there can be an outbreak
of cholera unless the municipality intervenes immediately
and solves the problem.”
In the letter handed to the mayor by AfriForum, the
municipality is held responsible for this negligence. The
letter orders the municipality to submit a comprehensive
plan of action to AfriForum by 28 November 2011 in which
steps are set out on how the problem will be resolved.
“If the plan is not submitted to us by the deadline, the
community will take steps to hold the mayor personally
responsible for the negligent handling of the sewage plant.
Criminal charges against the mayor will be considered,” said
Opperman.
AfriForum also clearly states that the municipality of
Emalahleni will be held responsible for the residents’ health
and the economic consequences of the negligent dumping
of sewage.
Various matters can lead to a sewage crisis like this one,
said Kleynhans. “The continuous changes in municipal
managerial posts, increased residential development in the
area, failure to develop new infrastructure, and the
mismanagement of municipal duties all play a role.”
AfriForum will monitor the situation continuously in order to
determine what action should be taken at present and in the
future.

Source: afriforum.co.za/english/2011-11-21-afriforum-gryp-in-met-rioolprobleem-op-witbank/

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