OUTA’s sights on sewage pollution in Cape Town
OUTA has been engaging with residents’ associations and community forums to take action regarding the sewage pollution in the City of Cape Town.
“The residents are concerned about the sewage pollution in the City and it appears as though their call for action to the City have fallen on deaf ears. Sewage is a hazardous waste and must comply to standards in order for it to be discharged safely. Noncomplying waste poses severe health and safety risks to humans and the environment and must be stopped,” said Julius Kleynhans, Operations Executive at OUTA.
OUTA has been engaging with several organisations in Cape Town and has decided to take action regarding the sewage pollution by the City. “The inadequate sanitation in communities such as Joe Slovo is a human rights violation that must be addressed. The noncompliant disposal of sewage in water courses and protected areas is unacceptable and criminal,” said Kleynhans.
According to Integrated Regulatory Information System, the waste water monitoring sight of the Department of Water and Sanitation - the Potsdam Waste Water Treatment Works is polluting the Diep River which has led to the uproar by the Milnerton community.
The E. coli in the water reached over 3,6 million parts per 100ml of discharged water according to the latest results on the site. National standards indicate that there should be no more than 1000 counts per 100ml of water being discharged.
“Human waste has been implicated in the transmission of many infectious diseases including cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, polio, cryptosporidiosis, ascariasis, and schistosomiasis. Whilst we believe the City’s drinking water is intact. We want to caution holiday makers, recreational users and those who use boreholes along contaminated sources to take serious precaution. Symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting may be related to sewage pollution,” Kleynhans added.
OUTA expressed its gratitude to the active citizens of Milnerton who refuse to accept substandard service and who have been challenging the City on this serious issue. “Municipalities have clear mandates and responsibilities on which they must deliver. Residents need to exercise their rights to ensure that the City is honest and that they deliver on all fronts,” said Kleynhans.
“We trust that the City will engage with the community and OUTA to ensure that this matter is resolved amicably and with the urgency it merits, to protect residents and the environment from harm,” says OUTA’s Chief Legal Officer, Stefanie Fick, “We will consider all relevant avenues to ensure accountability on this matter.”