Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

FF Plus continues to fight against sewage pollution in Thabazimbi Municipality

The FF Plus will continue its fight against sewage pollution in the Thabazimbi Local Municipality as a recent oversight visit revealed that the Municipality's sewage treatment plants are still not functional, despite the Human Rights Commission's intervention.

The pollution of scarce water sources in the area has continued unhindered ever since.

In 2020, the FF Plus lodged a complaint about the sewage pollution with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) and was invited, as complainant, by the HRC to accompany Limpopo's Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs on oversight visits to the relevant treatment plants.

In December 2020, the HRC lodged a criminal complaint against the municipal manager, Gladwin Tloubatla, due to the pollution. According to the HRC, the case has been referred to the relevant prosecuting authority for a decision on whether or not to prosecute.

During today's visit to the Thabazimbi sewage plant, it was discovered that the plant is still not functional. Sewage flows from this plant straight into the Rooikuil tributary.

This tributary flows into the Crocodile River, which eventually joins the Limpopo River. The extensive sewage pollution, therefore, does not only affect South Africa, but also the neighbouring countries that border on the Limpopo River.

There is not a single functional sewage pump at the Northam plant. The sewage flows straight through the plant, passes under a bridge and ends up in a local farmer's land.

It is extremely disappointing to learn that the Municipality has done nothing to repair the plants to prevent the pollution.

At the time, the Thabazimbi Municipality acknowledged to the HRC that it is well aware of the problems and shortcomings at the various plants and that there had been talks with two mines in the area that were reportedly willing to help upgrade the plants and build a new wastewater treatment plant. Clearly, nothing has come of these negotiations, though.

The HRC will meet with the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs on Friday (4 February) in a renewed effort to solve the problem.

The FF Plus will continue to put pressure on the Municipality to repair the plants and will keep in frequent contact with the HRC to monitor the situation.

Limpopo is a water-scarce province and the unhindered pollution of water sources must be stopped.




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