Inadequate sewage and purification systems and the illegal dumping of raw sewage in water sources in various provinces in South Africa create a frightening risk for the extensive spread of Covid-19 seeing as the national Department of Health has indicated in an official document that the virus can be transmitted through human waste.
Scientific tests that were conducted at the purification plants of 46 towns and cities by AfriForum in 2014, at the time already indicated that about half of the towns and cities’ treated water contains unacceptably high levels of E. coli, which poses a great threat to consumers and the environment. The possibility exists that Covid-19 could also spread in this way and although the Department of Health considers it a fairly low risk, it could have devastating consequences for a country like South Africa.
Two years ago, the national defense force intervened in an attempt to save the Vaaldam from, among other things, sewage pollution but the project failed when the funds dried up. During its 25 years of governing, the ANC has done nothing to stop the pollution of the Vaal dam and elsewhere.
The current Covid-19 pandemic has focused the attention on the real risks of microbiological infections.
The novel coronavirus developed from other, less dangerous, strains of coronaviruses. Similarly, the pathogens found in South Africa’s untreated sewage, could also mutate and start a pandemic.
In a document that the FF Plus recently obtained from the water catchment area management agency of Inkomazi-Muthu in Mpumalanga, it is reported that each of the 33 tests that the agency had conducted on a monthly basis in the entire district tested positive for the E. coli bacteria, which is found in raw excrement.
The serious extent of sewage pollution in South Africa’s water resources has been well documented and is general knowledge. Various organizations and groups, including the FF Plus, have approached, among others, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) and insisted that action must be taken. The ANC is wholly responsible for this.