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DA to take Swartkops River and Estuary pollution to Parliament

Jun 18, 2020
DA to take Swartkops River and Estuary pollution to Parliament

Port Elizabeth - Raw untreated sewage flowing directly into the Swartkops River and Estuary in Port Elizabeth is contributing to a massive ecological catastrophe that could see the total collapse of one of our most precious wildlife ecosystems, the Democratic Alliance (DA) reported.

"The Swartkops River Estuary is every bit as sensitive and unique as the ecosystem of the Knysna Lagoon and needs to be protected. Instead, we are currently presiding over the total destruction of this precious wildlife sanctuary," said DA Eastern Cape leader and the party's Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral candidate, Nqaba Bhanga.

On Wednesday, he said that he was joined by DA Shadow Deputy Minister for Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Emma Powell, MP, in conducting oversight inspections at a pump station at the Markman Canal and at the Motherwell Artificial Reedbed/Saltpan in Nelson Mandela Bay.

"The delegation also consisted of Ngqura Constituency Leader, Yusuf Cassim, MPL, DA Shadow MEC for Finance, Retief Odendaal, MPL, DA EC member of the Office of the Premier Portfolio Committee, Kobus Botha, MPL, and DA NMB Spokesperson for Public Health, Cllr Leander Kruger," Bhanga said.

"It would appear that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, who is responsible for the treatment of wastewater in the City, does not have the capacity to manage and maintain wastewater infrastructure in the Metro.

"In several places, raw untreated sewage and industrial sewage was found flowing into the river and estuary, posing not only a massive health risk to residents but also to our precious wildlife.

"The discharge of raw sewage into a natural water resource is illegal in terms of the Constitution, the National Environmental Management Act No. 107 of 1998, and the National Water Act No. 36 of 1998."

Bhanga said that MP Powell will take this matter up in national parliament and bring it to the attention of the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu.

"MPL Cassim will also drive the issue in the provincial legislature while Cllr Kruger will hold the Municipality to account.

"I will shortly start conducting oversight inspections at the Metro’s different wastewater treatment plants to highlight how the City’s administration is putting our people at risk," he added.

"This uncaring and irresponsible coalition of corruption NMB government must be brought to book for endangering one of the most precious water sources and ecosystems in our Bay."

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