Mantsopa has 7 days to stop sewerage spill

By Tania Halse, DA Mantsopa Councillor:

The people of Platberg in Ladybrand are forced to live on the edge of a stream of raw sewerage. See pictures here.

The Platberg sewerage pump station has been dysfunctional for as long as the residents can remember. The pump station is not secure and manholes are left open, posing a risk to children playing in the area.

The municipality has allowed raw sewerage to dam up in an open field that is used by children to play in and for the grazing of cattle.

After several requests by the DA to municipal officials to repair the pump station and to prevent the spillage of sewerage, the municipality just dug a trench, allowing the sewerage to flow into a fresh water stream that flows through Platberg and Manyatseng into the Cathcart Dam.

The Cathcart Dam stores the town’s fresh water supply and is now wilfully being polluted by the municipality, placing the safety of the town’s drinking water at risk.

Earlier this year I requested the Department of Water and Sanitation to inspect the site, who sent an official on 29 January 2015, Ms Boitumelo, to assess the situation, but nothing has been done.

Last week I requested the municipality’s Technical Services department to take action. It was confirmed to me that Mr Moeti from this department visited the site, but no action has been taken since.

The Mantsopa Local Municipality have no regard for the poor and most vulnerable in our town. Municipal officials treat the poorest of the poor with contempt and force them to live in an environment that is filthy, polluted and un-serviced.

I have today written to the Mantsopa Municipal Manager, Mr Selby Selepe, informing him that he has seven working days to bring the pump station into operation, to stop the flow of raw sewerage and to begin to rehabilitate the polluted area.

Should he fail, the DA will immediately bring criminal charges against him under the National Water Act (No 36 of 1998).