The DA will write to the Chairperson of the Parliament Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, Mlungisi Johnson, requesting that he urgently summons Maluti a Phofung Mayor, Gilbert Mokotso and the Municipal Manager, Mr Kadimo Masekoane, to come and appear before the committee and account for their failure to enforce the treatment of sewerage before it is released into the Wilge River. This is a clear human rights violation for the people of this area and the matter must be taken up by Parliament.
The municipality is wilfully refusing to purchase V-belts to ensure Hamilton Bridge and Intabazwe waste water treatment plants function optimally. Even worse, no budgetary allocation for the maintenance of the plants has been made and neither has there been an attempt to plug the gap of skilled plant operators.
The DA has taken several active steps to remedy the situation but they have gone unheeded:
- The DA has written numerous letters to the Municipal Manager and tabled this matter in the council;
- Laid criminal charges against the Municipal Manager and the Mayor;
- Lodged an official complaint with the Green Scorpions;
- Written a letter to the South African Human Right Commission; and
- Written a letter to the then Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane
Soon after writing to Minister Mokonyane in January 2017, an inspector from the Free State Regional office of the Department of Water and Sanitation came to the municipality for inspection, promising to send a report to the Minister. We have not heard anything from him since.
Wilge River is part of a national strategic water catchment area, and flows directly into the Vaal River. This raw sewage pollution is contaminating the Vaal Dam which supplies Gauteng. It is unfortunate that this raw sewage is flowing in the Vaal to mix with pristine water from the Lesotho Highlands Scheme.
Parliament cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this unfolding disaster. Maluti a Phofung must be held to account before residents are exposed to serious health risks. The municipality is violating the rights of these citizens, willingly.
Cllr Fien Beukes l DA