This statement follows an oversight inspection by the Democratic Alliance (DA) Team One SA Spokesperson on Service Delivery, Makashule Gana, together with Midvaal Mayor, Bongani Baloyi, to the Sebokeng Wastewater Treatment Plant in Vereeniging. Pictures can be downloaded here and here. Please find attached English and Xitsonga soundbites.
The DA today conducted an oversight inspection to the Sebokeng Wastewater Treatment Plant which has been neglected due to financial mismanagement by government officials.
This has left the sewerage system and processing plants in a dismal state which has caused raw sewage to run through the municipality’s streets because no maintenance has been performed on the pipes and treatment plants that are supposed to process the area’s waste. This untreated sewage now pours into to the Vaal River and Dam, which are now so polluted that the water is dangerous to drink or even be near to.
The situation is so extreme, that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) had to be brought in to perform basic maintenance functions on the water supply. The Sebokeng Wastewater Treatment Plant management today confirmed that they will now engage with the provincial treasury to request further funding so that all the necessary repairs can be made.
The mere fact that the army had to be brought in speaks to the failing ANC’s inability to govern effectively. These are basic services which the local ANC-run Emfuleni Municipality are meant to deliver.
The Emfuleni Municipality’s neglect of the Sebokeng Wastewater Treatment Plant has now resulted in a pollution crisis at the plant and has also affected the Midvaal residents.
We have now reached an emergency situation and some drastic steps must be taken. The DA proposes:
The pollution of the Vaal River and Dam must be declared a national disaster that puts the water supply for 15 million South Africans at risk. Emergency funding must be released so that more experts and engineers can supplement the good work that the SANDF is already doing.
The national disaster that is Nomvula Mokonyane must immediately be fired from her ministerial position. Her tenure destroying the Department of Water and Sanitation has caused this environmental catastrophe, so she cannot be trusted at the helm of the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Emergency funding must also be directed to fixing the sewerage systems of municipalities like Emfuleni, which have collapsed after years of neglect by the failing ANC government.
The ANC’s neglect of basic services is criminal. Party cadres live like royalty while residents have to dodge puddles of human waste in the street. The sad fact is that there is no “new” ANC on the horizon – the situation in places like Emfuleni is not going to change until a new government that actually cares about service delivery is elected.
The DA believes that all South Africans deserve a clean and safe water supply, not just the connected cronies of the governing party. We will always put the needs of residents first, because the people of Gauteng deserve better than the disgusting way they are treated by the ANC.
DA Spokesperson on Basic Services
082 773 4755
Acting Manager: National Press Office
081 834 0792