“Nosimo Balindlela, the [Democratic Alliance] DA Shadow Minister for Water and Sanitation visited the Sewage Plant with me in July this year and we took samples of the water being released from the Plant,” said Kouga Mayor, Elza Van Lingen, whose administration took over the running of the municipality after defeating the African National Congress (ANC) in the 2016 Local Government Elections in August.
“We were shocked to discover that raw sewage was being released and that the Plant was totally dysfunctional. There were not even chemicals at the Plant to treat the sewage.”
Balindlela then laid criminal charges against Sidney Fadi, the Kouga Local Municipality Municipal Manager, for the sewage spills that end up in a nearby dam as well as in a canal next to the side of the road leading to Kwananzamo.
“In August, the Department of Environmental Affairs inspected the Sewage Plant and confirmed that untreated sewage runs out from the Plant and ends up in a dam.
"They were also very concerned that residents and animals have access to the raw sewage,” said Van Lingen.
She said that the Director of Public Prosecutions is now considering the laying of several charges against Fadi.
"Among the charges being contemplated are the contravention of Section 151 of the National Water Act in that the sewage plant is not being properly operated and maintained, treated effluent contains faecel coliforms is being released from the Plant, which in turn is detrimentally affecting a water resource and the environment,” added Van Lingen.
“I have already made an appeal to the Department of Rural Development to make funds available to upgrade the Sewage Plant as we cannot accept our residents facing such a dangerous health hazard and our environment being polluted with raw sewage.
"I am also investigating when the new Waste Water Treatment Plant being built by Woodlands Dairy will come on-stream, which will take a lot of pressure off the Humansdorp Sewage Plant, that is over capacity at present."
“Kouga Municipality is also upgrading the Kruisfontein Waste Water Treatment Plant and this process will be completed in the 2018/19 financial year,” concluded Van Lingen.