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South Africa: Municipality told to stop polluting water resources

The Department of Water and Sanitation has welcomed a court order issued against the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality in the North West province to refrain from polluting water resources.

The municipality has been ordered to take all necessary steps to ensure that raw sewage is not discharged into the ponds within Rosendal Farm in Vryburg, thereby causing the deaths of livestock.

Judge Tebogo Djadje in the High Court of South Africa, North West Division in Mahikeng made the order last week.

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Judge Djadje also ordered the municipality to cease its usage of raw sewer pipe to divert the flow of raw sewer from Huhudi Township into Farm Rosendal 673.

“In addition, the municipality was compelled and ordered to urgently take remedial steps to stop the pollution by immediately fixing the overflowing manholes in Huhudi township. The municipality is also required to remedy the effects of pollution caused and rehabilitate the affected areas,” the Department of Water and Sanitation said on Sunday.

Djadje also ruled in favour of the department in the interdict against the municipality from allowing raw sewage to overflow into Harts River and the Blespruit tributary.

The court outcome is a result of protracted efforts by the department to take responsibility for the pollution experienced in the area of their jurisdiction dating back to 2015.

“The department, through its Enforcement Unit conducted investigations at the Vryburg Waste Water Treatment Works in 2015, followed up with inspections in 2017 and 2018. The municipality did not respond with any action plans as required.

“The department as a regulator of the sector is satisfied with all the measures taken to date to make the municipality to account, and hopes the order and interdict will be a turning point and put a stop to pollution.”

The department will work with the municipality to resolve the matter and assist where necessary.

“This judgement should send a strong message to all the polluters, that the department will not tolerate any form of pollution of water resources.

The department will take all the necessary steps to put a stop to this neglect as empowered by the National Water Act. Our interventions are not punitive in nature but when polluters are not responsive, we will seek recourse in our courts,” said the department’s spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.

Edited by ESI Africa. Source: SAnews.gov.za

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.