Dilapidation on these Northern Cape towns is getting out of hand


The civil rights group AfriForum is considering action against the Emthanjeni municipality in the Northern Cape after receiving numerous complaints about the local authority’s allegedly rotten service delivery in the past while.

AfriForum says potholes, raw sewage and unsightly landfills are just some of the problems that residents of De Aar, Hanover and Britstown face.

The organization is now officially investigating the decline in the villages. All three towns fall under this municipality and AfriForum visited the problem areas in the three towns in February. He is also consulting with his legal team to consider possible further steps against the municipality.

The problems in these towns are extensive, says Werner Strauss, AfriForum’s district coordinator for the Northern Cape.

On De Aar and Hanover, the sewage works have been out of action for more than two years and the sewage flows freely into the field. In addition, the De Aar water vein lies very shallow under the ground and therefore this underground water source is directly polluted. Of the municipality’s 79 boreholes, only 15 are working,” says Strauss.

“Furthermore, the working borehole pumps – which pump the water directly into the reservoirs and then distribute it to the communities – are insufficient and hinder water supply to the De Aar community. Meanwhile, the site of the sewage works is the target of vandals because there are no more workers on site to maintain it.”

Strauss says that it also seems that sewage that has not been adequately treated does flow into the Brak River.

On 21 February, AfriForum took water samples from the sewage that flows into this river and according to the test results, high levels of E. coli and coliform bacteria are present in the water. In addition to the worrying water pollution, the poor maintenance of roads and landfills on De Aar, Hanover and Britstown is also an evil for the community.

“The Emthanjeni local municipality is not fulfilling its duty towards these communities. Service delivery here is poor and in the end it is the residents who suffer from the municipality’s don’t-give-me-like attitude,” says Strauss.