ACID MINE WATER IN VAAL NEEDS COMPETENT OVERSIGHT

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Caucus Leader

Competent oversight is needed to ensure that water quality in the Vaal River does not deteriorate unacceptably due to the government’s “emergency” plan to pump partially treated acid mine water into the river before it overflows into Johannesburg and other areas on the Reef, as reported in today’s Sunday Times newspaper.

The Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) crisis in Gauteng has been mishandled from the start, characterised by inexcusable delay and policy zig-zags.

Meanwhile, projected costs have escalated alarmingly, more than doubling from R924 million to R2.2 million as announced recently by Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. But this is only for short-term measures that thin out AMD rather than the long-term solution of proper water purification and industrial and human use of the water.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has taken a back seat in countering the AMD threat. She must intervene directly to ensure a lasting cost-effective solution.

We don’t have much time before places like the Gold Reef City Museum are flooded with disastrous consequences.

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