South Africa: SANDF Makes Progress With Vaal Project

Pollution in Sebokeng as a result of the Vaal River contamination

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says it is making inroads with the Vaal River rehabilitation project.

SANDF members, who were deployed over the festive season, have rolled up their sleeves to clean the Vaal River, which is currently clogged by sewage, affecting several communities.

Population growth, ageing infrastructure, vandalism and lack of capacity has meant that communities such as Vereeniging, Sebokeng, Boipatong and Sharpeville are affected by water pollution.

The Vaal River supplies about 50% of Gauteng's water.

In a statement on Thursday, SANDF said it has deployed technical teams to restore infrastructure at the polluted Vaal River system caused by raw sewage flowing into the river from pump stations in the Emfuleni Municipality.

Other progress made is the deployment of the SA Army Engineer Formation to the Emfuleni Municipal Area, as well as the drawing of the scope of work, which focuses on the upgrading of sewer treatment works and pump stations.

SANDF's deployment to the project follows an announcement by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni during his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in October, in which he called on the force to assist in efforts to urgently rehabilitate the Vaal River system.

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