Criminal charges against Dihlabeng Municipal Manager

By Ben Venter, DA Dihlabeng Councillor:

Last week I visited a site on the banks of the Jordan (Jordaan) River in Bethlehem where raw sewerage is being allowed to flow into the river. This river eventually feeds into the Vaal River and ultimately into the Vaal Dam. I requested the Acting Municipal Manager of Dihlabeng Local Municipality, Mr BP Molatseli, to take immediate action to stop the flow of raw sewerage. See photos here.

Yesterday I again paid a visit to the site only to find that the municipality has done nothing to stop the flow of raw sewerage into the river.

As a result of the municipality’s non-action, I have today brought criminal charges against Mr Molatseli, under the National Water Act (No 36 of 1998) for his failure to act in compliance with specifically section 151.

It is our hope that immediate action will now be taken to rectify the situation. The DA can’t allow the wilful neglect of the ANC-led council of the Dihlabeng Local Municipality to place the water security of the Free State and that of Gauteng at risk.

Water is a crucial resource that must be managed in such a way so as to ensure that we secure our future needs. Allowing raw sewerage to pollute fresh water resources is not only criminal, it is reckless, unethical and completely unjustifiable.