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Sewage could contaminate drinking water, says DA


The arrogance of Sol Plaatje Municipality will land them in smelly water and they could face legal action due to non-compliance of the National Water Act, as well as the National Environmental Act, the party said.

Greenpoint residents are also struggling with massive sewage problems. File image. Pictures: Supplied

DESPITE spending more than R450 million on upgrades at its sewerage stations in Kimberley, none of the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s sewerage stations are in full working order.

This is according to the Democratic Alliance’s Member of the Provincial Legislature, Reinette Liebenberg, who has expressed concern about the “obvious lack of management of sewage within the Sol Plaatje municipality that continues to pose serious threats to the environment and the health of residents in and around Kimberley”.

The party has indicated that it will again lodge a complaint with the Green Scorpions.

Reports have been received of sewage overflow in several parts of the city, including Greenpoint. “In Greenpoint, sewage is seen flowing into a freshwater pan in DuToitpspan, risking contamination of the water source and also the spread of serious illnesses.”

Liebenberg pointed out that businesses and residents were concerned about the raw sewage spills right on their doorsteps but were continuously met with disregard by Sol Plaatje Municipality. “The municipality does not seem to care about the well-being and possible risks of residents and businesses.

“The DA is disturbed by the lack of transparency and will of this municipality to respond to pleas from residents and businesses, for assistance in dealing with the sewage overflow,” Liebenberg added.

“Even the Department of Water Affairs experienced closed doors in dealing with the municipality when compliance letters are ignored and meetings that have been set up to discuss the contamination of freshwater by the sewage, are postponed.”

She pointed out that this was not the first time the municipality has failed to react to an issue of environmental pollution reported to them and caused by them. “In June this year, the DA called on the Green Scorpions to investigate the raw sewage spills in Galeshewe, Barkly Road and Platfontein.”

She added that it was already brought to the attention of the municipality that all sewerage stations within Sol Plaatje municipality are not in full working condition and that the R450 million received for infrastructure and maintenance upgrades, had gone to waste.

“It appears that Sol Plaatje will only act once they are dragged to court for their inability to properly manage municipal bulk infrastructure.

“It is high time that the government starts to tighten their grip on this poorly-performing municipality and holds senior managers accountable for any legal action and financial implications that this municipality finds itself in.

“Otherwise, the arrogance of Sol Plaatje municipality will land them in smelly water and they could face legal action due to non-compliance of the National Water Act, as well as the National Environmental Act,” Liebenberg said.