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The South African Department of Water and Sanitation has set aside R341 million for the resuscitation of all wastewater treatment infrastructures in the Vaal Triangle.

Untreated sewerage from three water treatment plants has continued to flow into the Vaal River, causing blocked drains and flowing into the local community's homes and streets.

Water Affairs Minister Gugile Nkwinti said this month that the East Rand Water Care Company (ERWAT), will ensure that all wastewater treatment infrastructure is resuscitated to an operational state and that pollution in the Vaal River is stopped.

Nkwinti told community members at Saul Tsotetsi Sports Centre in Sebokeng, that his department has signed an Implementation Protocol on March 29 with COGTA department in Gauteng, Emfuleni Local Municipality, South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) and the ERWAT.

He indicated that “SANDF will also train 2000 youth and community members to guard 44 pump stations until the completion of the project, that is projected for March 2020.”

Nkwinti informed the community that 120,000 Households will benefit from Module 6 of the Sebokeng Wastewater Treatment Works, a regional bulk sanitation infrastructure, which is projected to be completed by the end of May 2019. Module 7 of the project is expected to start by July 2019.

The minister also announced the establishment of the Vaal Catchment Management Agency in a bid to protect water resources in the area. "The work of the Agency will include river monitoring, reporting on pollution incidents and dealing with polluters. The Agency is expected to also raise awareness and educate citizens on protection of the water resources and environment, local planning with citizens as well as manage the processing of water use licenses.

“The Vaal River Catchment Management Agency will ensure that water is protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable and equitable manner," he said.

This article originally appeared on Green Building Africa and it has been republished with minor edits.