South Africa: Deputy Minister David Mahlobo On Vaal River Intervention

press release

Deputy Minister Mahlobo rallies stakeholders to work together on the Vaal River intervention

The Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Mr David Mahlobo, has called on all stakeholders affected by the pollution of the Vaal River to work together and speedily come up with solutions that will change the lives of communities.

He made these remarks during a 'Save the Vaal Stakeholder Engagement meeting held at Stonehaven in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng today, 4 November 2019.

The meeting was attended by the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Basic Services at Emfuleni Local Municipality, Cllr Bheki Ntsele, representatives from the Sedibeng District Municipality, Rand Water and the Metsi le Temo, a Non-profit Organisation.

The main aim of the meeting was to bring different stakeholders together and come up with alternative solutions to the ailing Waste Water Treatment Works network system (Sebokeng, Rietspruit and Leeuwkuil) connected to the Vaal River System.

The meeting agreed that it is futile to keep on pointing fingers towards one another and it is the interest of the affected communities to work towards a common goal to address the Waste Water Treatment Works capacities in the Vaal.

To this end, Deputy Minister Mahlobo emphasised the need to establish a task team made up of the present stakeholders, including the Water Research Commission (WRC) and the Agriculture Research Council (ARC) solely to look at the proposal of reusing treated waste water for agricultural purposes such as irrigating, cash crops and aqua culture activities in the Vaal area.

This matter is part of the outcomes of the visit by Deputy President David Mabuza on the 12th of September and part of the responsibilities the Deputy President tasked Deputy Minister Mahlobo with.

"This area has a problem of a high unemployment rate, and this proposal has a potential to bring thousands of jobs to the doorstep of the people. We should not let our differences, of any kind, hinder us from focusing on the most important task at hand", he said.

MMC Bheki Ntsele will chair the newly established task team and it is set to meet for the first time on 11 November.

Issued by: Department of Water and Sanitation

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