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Gauteng government should intervene in Mogale City sewage pollution at once

The FF Plus demanded in an urgent letter to the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mzi Khumalo, that action should immediately be taken against the Mogale City Local Municipality to address its ongoing sewage pollution.

The time for talking is over, it is time for an effective intervention to honour Mogale City residents’ constitutional right to live and work in an environment that is not harmful to their health.

After receiving numerous complaints from residents living next to the Tweelopie tributary, the FF Plus paid an oversight visit to this tributary in Hekpoort last Friday

Untreated sewage is spilling from the Percy Steward plant, on the outskirts of Krugersdorp, into the Tweelopie tributary.

The Tweelopie tributary, in turn, flows into the Hartbeespoort Dam.

The Percy Steward sewage treatment plant, on the outskirts of Krugersdorp, has not been functional for the past five years.

The FF Plus was met by the unbearable stench of sewage upon its visit to the Tweelopie tributary.

It is precisely this stench that has residents and owners of businesses, restaurants and guest houses next to the tributary hot under the collar.

According to guest house owners, their guest numbers have dropped significantly as a result of the pollution and the fact that they are no longer able to spend time in their gardens.

School children residing in the area also have to cross this tributary to get to school.

Farmers’ livestock can no longer drink water from the tributary and crops cannot be irrigated using the water.

Sewage is also spilling from the plant into the Blougat tributary that flows into the Riet and then into the Bloubank tributary, which runs through the Cradle of Humankind.

This area is a UNESCO world heritage site and includes the fossil hominid sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and environs. It is an important tourist attraction.

The FF Plus has already brought the problems at the Percy Steward and Magaliesburg sewage treatment plants to the attention of the Mogale City Local Municipality and COGTA in the past.

The Magaliesburg sewage treatment plant, which was completed seven years ago for an amount of R84 million, has not been fully functional since its inception.

Sewage is spilling over the walls of processing dams into the Magalies River that also flows into the Hartbeespoort Dam.

The Gauteng government has officially instructed Mogale City to repair these sewage treatment plants four times already, but the Municipality simply keeps responding by saying that it does not have the funds needed to do so.

The Gauteng government has even imposed fines of more than R10 million on Mogale City for its failure to comply with water and sanitation regulations. These were not paid either.

Mogaly City should no longer get away with polluting valuable water sources and the environment.

The FF Plus is also busy lodging a complaint about the pollution with the Human Rights Commission (HRC).

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