Nylriver acid spill: Mop up team unpaid, abandons site, disaster worsens

By Jacques Smalle, MPL, DA Limpopo Leader:

Almost three weeks after the horrific spilling of sulphuric acid into the Nylriver in Modimolle, suphuric acid continues to sink deeper into the bed of the river unabated.

Apart from the Waterberg District and Modimolle Local municipalities’ poor response, the Department of Environment has been dragging its feet in rehabilitating the acidic river. Urgent action is required to save this river form permanent contamination and ecological disaster. Yet government has been uncoordinated, unconcerned and confused in its response.

The DA has learnt that an environmental expert team has abandoned the site, where it has been starting to rehabilitate the affected rive. The mop up team has abandoned the site due to no commitment by government to pay for its services. The site has been left unattended to for the past five days while the acid further contaminates the river.

Sulphuric acid in its nature is a lot heavier than water and can flow faster than water. One day delay in containing the deadly acid in the river multiplies the problem.

This disaster leaves scores of human lives and animals, including over 300 farms who source water from this river, endangered after government fails to coordinate a proper response.

The DA will submit written questions on the exact operational plan that the Department and Municipalities have been working to, and if none exists, will push the MEC to account to the Legislature.