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Water affairs halts construction
by Dirk Lotriet, News24
03 June 2015
MORE ARTICLES


2015-06-02 18:08

Bloemfontein - The national department of water affairs has ordered the Metsimaholo local municipality to halt construction on the controversial raw sewerage pipeline from Refengkgotso outside the Free State town of Deneysville into the Vaal Dam.

Local DA councillor Johan Geyser tabled a motion against the project in March this year, but the speaker of the ANC-led council, Sello Matena, has refused to bring the matter before council for debate.

Geyser then reported the irregular project to the national department of water affairs.

The department has now made it clear that the municipality must apply for the relevant authorisation and licenses to ensure it is
compliant with the National Water and the Water Services Acts.

“It was a close call. The municipality was determined to complete the project in record time. Pumping raw sewerage into the Vaal Dam would have polluted the environment and poisoned a critically important fresh water source, compromising the drinking water quality of millions of South Africans,” said James Letuka, DA member of the Free State legislature.

Geyser told News24 that water affairs’ Flora Mamabola assured him on Tuesday morning the municipality could not commence with construction without applying for the prescribed authorisation.

“As far as I know, no impact studies were done before construction. The pipes, leading from Refengkgotso over a distance of three kilometres, have reached the dam," he said.

"They only have to connect the pipes across the road before they can start pumping.”

News24



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