Home News Sol faces criminal charges for failing to fix Gogga Pump Station

Sol faces criminal charges for failing to fix Gogga Pump Station

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The Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform is intending to lay criminal charges against Sol Plaatje Municipality this week for failing to repair Gogga Pump Station that has resulted in a dam of raw sewage flowing along the R31.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality is facing criminal charges for failure to repair the Gogga Pump Station. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform is intending to lay criminal charges against Sol Plaatje Municipality this week for failing to repair Gogga Pump Station that has resulted in a dam of raw sewage flowing along the R31.

Sewage water is also seeping into the veld at Platfontein and parts of Roodepan.

The sewage leaks have been ongoing for several years.

Spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Zandisile Luphahla indicated that they had issued fines for the environmental hazards caused by the Gogga pump station as well as the Roodepan sewage spillages.

“Despite numerous promises to fix the Gogga Pump Station, the situation has not been attended to for a number of years. The water should be recycled and reused as it is fit for irrigation purposes. The matter was investigated by the Green Scorpions and we will be laying criminal charges this week.”

Farmers also complained that their livestock that were grazing around the Platfontein area were falling ill due to the sewage contamination.

Luphahla added that the sewage was overflowing onto the road where it was lifting the tar on the road.

“The sewage is submerging and eroding the road and in a few years time, motorists and mining trucks in the districts will not be able to travel on this road. This in turn will affect the local economy. The health of people living in the area is being compromised.”

The Sol Plaatje Municipality is facing criminal charges for failure to repair the Gogga Pump Station. Picture: Danie van der Lith

He indicated that a fine was issued to Sol Plaatje Municipality even though the Roodepan spillages had been attended to.

“It is impossible to place a monetary value on the damages caused. Grass, plants and flora were affected while humans and animals suffer ailments from the stench. The human rights and health of people has been jeopardised.”

He stated that criminal charges would also be laid against two municipalities in the Province for sewage spillages and another one for illegal dumping.

Roodepan residents however indicated that they were not able to move back to their homes and that they were still staying at the Riverton Pleasure Resort.

“We were told that we would be compensated for the damage caused to our belongings, furniture, clothes and property after our homes were flooded with human waste. We are still waiting for the municipality to claim from insurance. We do not know how long we will still be living here and no one keeps us updated on what is going on since we moved here in March.”

Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation Sputnik Ratau on Monday added that they were also considering laying criminal charges against the municipality.

“The Gogga Pump Station has not been operating optimally for a couple of years where the municipality has not been coming to the party. Taking the legal route is a last resort but we have hit a brick wall. The pump station is the responsibility of the municipality.”

He indicated that Sol Plaatje Municipality would be given a last opportunity to repair the pump station, failing which they would have no other choice but to approach the court.

“Apart from environmental, health and safety concerns, we risk water sources becoming contaminated with raw effluent. It also has an impact on the environment, rivers, roads and living spaces.”

Sol Plaatje Municipality did not respond to media enquiries including whether the fines for the environmental violations were paid.