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DA lays criminal charges against Dr Beyers Naude Municipality

Feb 6, 2020
DA lays criminal charges against Dr Beyers Naude Municipality

Graaff-Reinet - The inability of the Dr. Beyers Naude Local Municipality to curb the flow of raw sewage into the Sundays River has now become a criminal matter, the Democratic Alliance (DA) claims.

"Today, 5 February 2020, I was joined by DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs, and Tourism, Yusuf Cassim, MPL, in laying criminal charges against Dr. Beyers Naude municipal manager, Dr. Edward Rankwana, and the municipality at the Graaff-Reinet Police Station," said Samantha Graham-Maré, MP - Dr Beyers Naude Constituency Leader.

"The charges relate to Section 151 (1) of the National Water Act 36 of 1998, following the municipality’s continued intentional and wilful contamination and pollution of the Sundays River.

"If those implicated are found guilty, they can face either up to 10 years imprisonment, a substantial fine or both.

"This pollution of the Sundays River has been ongoing over the past five years with the municipality seemingly unable, or unwilling, to fix the pump stations that will stop the flow of raw sewage into the river."

She added that despite the continued assertions by the municipality that the sewage pump stations have been repaired and are in working order, all indications are that this is not the case and that both the Nqweba Dam and the Sundays River are being polluted by sewage from the dysfunctional pump stations.

"The residents of Graaff-Reinet, and especially those living in Cypress Grove, are under constant attack from the stench of sewage and are unable to operate their hospitality businesses or even keep the windows of their homes open due to the unbearable smell," Graham-Maré said.

"Last year, I posed parliamentary questions to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, to ascertain what steps have been taken to address the allegations that the sewage pump stations are not working and that, as a cause, sewage is flowing into the Sundays River.

"The Minister responded on 15 January 2020 and wrote that the Municipality advised that all three pump stations were fixed and are operational 24 hours every day.

"The Municipality is clearly blatantly lying to national government and residents while their health and economic futures are being put at risk. I will, therefore, also write to the Green Scorpions to immediately intervene and find a solution to this problem."

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