Ricochet News

Raw sewage flows in Burgersdorp for over a month now, DA calls for intervention

Oct 26, 2017
Raw sewage flows in Burgersdorp for over a month now, DA calls for intervention

Raw  sewage has been spilling into the Stormberg Spruit River for more than a month now, polluting the fresh water source in an already drought-stricken area, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Joe Gqabi District Municipality said on Thursday.

"This follows another major sewage spill in Thembisa Township, Burgersdorp, in front of houses and a local school," described Marina van Zyl - Joe Gqabi District Municipality PR Councillor.

"The ANC’s complete neglect of service delivery in this area poses a major health risk for residents and animals and is in contravention of the National Water Act as well as the National Environmental Management Act."

Van Zyl said that on 28 September, the DA wrote to the Manager of Community Services, Fiona Sephton, the Manager of Water Services Provision, Dumisani Lusawana, as well as the Joe Gqabi District Municipality Municipal Manager, Zolile Williams, to enquire on the progress of solving this health risk and hazardous problem.

"Not surprisingly, we received a generic response stating that it’s due to vandalism to pump stations as well as stolen cables. It was said that cases were opened with the South African Police Services (SAPS), but nothing had come of it.

"The letter further stated Joe Gqabi District Municipality had requested assistance of the Rapid Response Unit of the Department of Water and Sanitation who indicated that it had no funds to assist. Yet, Joe Gqabi District Municipality had in the past made it clear that the municipality had allocated funding on a yearly basis to address this issue," she said.

"Since our past efforts to address and solve this issue failed, the DA will now ask Jane Cowley, the DA Shadow MEC for Environmental Affairs, to probe the pollution caused by the sewage running into Stormberg Spruit."

Van Zyl said that the DA will also write to the DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation, Leon Basson, to request urgent intervention from the Department of Water and Sanitation to relieve these communities from this health hazard.

"We can no longer wait for the dysfunctional ANC-run Joe Gqabi District Municipality to resolve the sewer problems. We need to take harsh actions to stop the pollution of our scarce water sources."