Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Govan Mbeki: FF Plus welcomes fine of R200 million imposed for environmental legislation violations

The FF Plus welcomes the fine of R200 million imposed by the Bethal Magistrate’s Court on the Govan Mbeki Local Municipality (Bethal, Charl Cilliers, Embalenhle, Evander, Kinross, Leandra, Secunda, Trichardt) on Tuesday for violating environmental legislation.

The fine was imposed after the state and the Municipality (GMM) entered into a plea and sentence agreement, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The Municipality was found guilty on six charges relating to National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) violations, the pollution of water sources, National Water Act violations and failure to comply with a compliance notice.

The FF Plus has been putting pressure on the Municipality to resolve the ongoing sewage crisis and related pollution since 2019.

In 2020, the party asked the Green Scorpions to investigate sewage violations in GMM. In 2021, the FF Plus went so far as to file a complaint with the police in Secunda against the then Municipal Manager, Ms Lizzy Shabalala.

The FF Plus resorted to that course of action after several requests to the Municipality, to urgently resolve the problem, fell on deaf ears.

The party asked the Green Scorpions in 2020 to investigate the sewage pollution, particularly in Evander.

And in 2022, the party lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) about the flow of sewage from the Emzinoni settlement and the eMbalenhle water treatment plant to the Trichardt Tributary and Blesbok Tributary.

Decaying infrastructure and the mismanagement of funds are the main causes of this crisis.

The Govan Mbeki Local Municipality’s failure to routinely maintain and replace infrastructure is a violation of the community’s constitutional right to live in an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing, in terms of section 24 of the Constitution.

The FF Plus will keep fulfilling the role of watchdog for the community.



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