South Africa: Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation On Vaal River Pollution Crisis

press release

The Departments of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation wish to acknowledge the extent to which the condition of the Vaal River has deteriorated over the past few months, which is posing a serious social and economic challenge for the country.

To mitigate the challenge, the Department of Water and Sanitation has sourced the expertise of the City of Ekurhuleni's entity, the Ekurhuleni Water Care Company (ERWAT) as an implementing agent, to intervene in unblocking pipes to ease the flow of effluent to the Sebokeng Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW).

The original treatment works at Sebokeng was previously receiving 100 mega litres of wastewater a day but currently gets 20 mega litres, meaning the old plant is not fully operational.

In order to get their work off the ground, ERWAT has advertised two tenders that will be closing shortly, and various other tenders will be advertised in the next coming months as the work progresses. These tenders will mainly focus on refurbishing ageing waste treatment works to prevent the on-going sewer spillages into the Vaal River.

Thus far the Department has made significant strides by way of sourcing funding towards the intervention and currently has R176 million to concretely tackle the pollution. A separate amount to the tune of R80 million has already been paid to the South African National Defence Force for the work the soldiers had undertaken to stop the pollution.

In the coming months ERWAT will furthermore appoint a security company to prevent acts of wanton vandalism and theft of infrastructure that have become the order of the day. This is vital given the fact that the services of the SANDF will be curtailed at the end of October 2019.

Issued by: Department of Water and Sanitation

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