Water Department trying to cover up acid spill bungle

By Jacques Smalle, MPL, DA Limpopo Leader:

The DA has learnt that the Water Affairs Department plans to keep developments in the cleaning of the Nylriver confidential and to not update the public, despite the fact that the contaminated water is flowing into communities down-stream.

Safety of several rural communities and at least 300 farms in the Waterberg District remain endangered due to the poor management of the Sulphuric Acid spillage that has contaminated the Nylriver in Modimolle.

The DA has noted with serious concern the misuse of 30 tons of Lime that should have neutralized the poisoned river. By yesterday afternoon, the areas of the river with the PH levels were between 3 and 5 and such levels are highly acidic and could endanger anyone who uses the water or who is in contact with its water

It is worrying that the department has not brought in a Geo-Hydrologist to expertly guide the process of cleaning the river.

Immediately after the accident, the Fire Department swept the acid into the river, rather than controlling its spread. It is clear that this disaster is not being managed at all.

We demand that the Department of Water Affairs constantly communicate the progress of cleaning the water to ensure safety of the communities and the farming operations in the area.

We call on Environment MEC Seaparo Sekoati to give absolute focus to avoiding a massive environmental catastrophe.