DA opens criminal case against the executive mayor of Sol Plaatje Municipality over pollution to the environment.
THE ROODEPAN police are investigating a case of pollution to the environment due to recurring sewage spillages in White City, Roodepan.
Police spokesperson Captain Bashaobile Kale said a criminal case was opened by the DA against the executive mayor of Sol Plaatje Municipality.
“The matter has been handed over to the Department of Environmental Affairs for further investigation,” said Kale.
Roodepan resident David Kok said on Thursday that while the spillages had been temporarily fixed, the problem had started again and made the area “uninhabitable”.
DA Member of Parliament Delmaine Christians said that 26 families were affected by sewage overflow that was believed to have been caused by a broken pump.
“It caused unimaginable damage to property and disruption to their daily lives. This forced many of them to relocate to temporary accommodation at the Riverton Resort chalets that was provided by Sol Plaatje Municipality or to move in with relatives in January,” said Christians.
“While flooding of homes in this area has been an ongoing issue over the years, the situation has become more serious.
“Items that were damaged are still drenched in sewage water. Families had to leave their properties unattended to be able to sleep in a dry bed. Many, however, go back home during the day to check on their belongings. Many of the relocated residents also do not have transport and struggle to arrange transport to and from Kimberley to get to school and work.”
Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie said they were committed to ensuring that all areas negatively affected by sewage problems were dealt with.
“Currently, contractors are busy at some of the pump stations. We are of the firm belief that no one should be in an unbearable situation and for that we will continue our work of improving our bulk sewerage infrastructure,” said Matsie.
He indicated that seven out of the original 12 families were still being accommodated at the Riverton Pleasure Resort.
“Two of the families have moved out, another family moved out at the end of March and the other family moved out on June 27.
“Two families never moved to Riverton, although catering services were provided for them, and one family moved out later due to transport and catering reasons.”
Matsie said that the municipality had established who the rightful owners of the houses and tenants were in order to determine the amount of damages suffered.
“Unfortunately, all the tenants’ furniture were affected by the water, which caused a lot of water damage to their furniture.
“Emergency services and housing sections will meet with them to determine the way forward.”