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Sewage spills fixed – Sol

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“However, we can put on record that the pump station spillage and subsequent flooding of houses has been stopped”

THE SOL Plaatje Municipality said that it has already fixed the problem of sewage spills and the subsequent flooding of houses in Roodepan, following a directive it received last week from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Nature Conservation.

The municipality on Friday acknowledged receipt of the directive from the department, ordering the local authority to urgently address sewage spills in Roodepan or face a R10 million fine.

Sol Plaatje spokesperson Sello Matsie confirmed that the municipality would attend to all the directives set out in the document.

“However, we can put on record that the pump station spillage and subsequent flooding of houses has been stopped,” Matsie said.

“The emergency pond in the pump station vicinity is being emptied and the operation will continue until it is empty. Pumps have been repaired to curb and prevent further environmental pollution and nuisance in the area.”

The municipality was issued with the directive by the HOD of the department, Boipelo Mashobao, after the local authority failed to comply with its duty of care to manage environmental degradation resulting in 15 houses in Roodepan becoming flooded with raw sewage.

The directive followed an earlier site inspection by the department at Ravel and Von Webber streets in Roodepan.

In terms of the directive, the municipality has been ordered to meet weekly with the residents of Ravel and Von Webber streets, to drain all the wastewater in the affected houses, to conduct by-weekly inspections of the properties, remove the topsoil and contaminated vegetation, unblock the manhole, conduct daily inspections to ensure that there are no blockages, replace the motor at the Von Webber pump station and put security measures in place to secure it against theft and vandalism.

The municipality has also been ordered to immediately stop the disposal of any untreated sewage water to the adjacent dam and to drain the dam and dispose the contents at the Homevale Waste Water Treatment Works, as well as put measures in place to protect the inhabitants of Ravel and Von Webber streets from stormwater breaking over the walls of the dam. It also has to fence and secure the dam.

In terms of the National Environment Management Act, any person who fails to comply with a directive can be fined up to R10 million or be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 10 years.