OUTA recommends that the Commission investigates the Sedibeng Regional Sanitation Scheme (SRSS) project.
The SRSS was initiated by Emfuleni Local Municipality following an assessment of the status of the sewer infrastructure. It aimed at addressing the following challenges:
• The spillage of raw sewage in to the Vaal River;
• The discharge of non-compliant effluent into the Vaal River;
• The likely environmental and health effects of that pollution;
• The affect on economic and socio-economic growth in the region; and
• The high maintenance costs and frequent failures of the old sanitation infrastructure.
The project aimed to expand the capacity of the waste-water treatment plants in Sebokeng and Meyerton. This included reducing the spillage of raw sewage into the Vaal River.
OUTA has drawn the Commission’s attention to the fact that the national Department of Water and Sanitation stopped the project from being implemented by Emfuleni Local Municipality in 2012 and put in place Rand Water as the implementing agent.
OUTA thus recommends that the Commission:
• Assesses how the suspension and transfer of the SRSS from Emfuleni to Rand Water may have contributed towards pollution in the Vaal;
• Assesses the legality of the suspension and transfer of the project;
• Assesses how the removal of the SRSS from Emfuleni and other relevant municipalities adversely affected the operation and maintenance of sewerage networks, particularly those networks that contribute to pollution in the Vaal; and
• Requests audited and verified reports from Rand Water on the progress of the SRSS, with an indication of the extent to which such progress has reduced pollution in the Vaal.
A copy of OUTA’s submission is here.
OUTA’s submission to the SAHRC in September is here.
OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.