Plans afoot to save Vaal River

SEDIBENG.- SAVE the VAAL attended a high level meeting with the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura. Special Advisors and members of the Gauteng Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) recently.

SAVE the Vaal is a community based non-profit, non-government organisation that aims to prevent pollution of the Vaal River and its tributaries. The organisation’s mandate extends from Vaal Dam in the east, and the Vaal River from the dam wall through to Parys in the west. The pollution problems of the Vaal River are now being dealt with by Government at the highest level. COGTA will be playing an important role in the turn-around strategy of Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM). It is said that sources of this pollution include the Sebokeng Waste Water Treatment Plant which has not been operational for some 8 weeks because of community unrest.

“Whilst we cannot expect instant results, we were informed that the Department is moving swiftly into action to ‘clean up Emfuleni’ with particular attention to the sewerage crisis, rubbish and potholes. Funds are being sourced from central Government and Gauteng Province will be providing resources,” said Maureen Stewart of SAVE the VAAL.

Stewart said that special attention is being given to the sewerage crisis. Residents of Three Rivers and the area around Redan, which have been impacted by the total breakdown of the pump station 12, will be pleased to learn that

R20 million has been allocated to repair this system. “This won’t be an overnight wonder, but at least efforts are being focused on this critical issue. A broad estimate for the repairs is some 13 months, with all funds ring-fenced for specific projects.” Gauteng COGTA is also in discussions with Eskom and Rand Water regarding repayment of the outstanding debts.

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