By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Spokesperson on Cooperative Governance:
The DA today open criminal charges under the National Water Act (No 36 of 1998), Section 151(1) (i) and (j) and 151(2) including section 24 of the Constitution which seeks to protect the environment, against Municipal Managers of Vhembe District Municipality, Emmanuel Maluleke, and Makhado Municipality, Isaac Mutshinyali respectively for failing to comply with the provisions of the Act.
The Act includes, but is not limited to, the effective management and treatment of sewerage and waste water, and the protection of fresh water resources. The duo neglected the pollution of the environment by failing to repair sewerage system within Makhado municipality for eight years.
The Vhembe District Municipality failed dismally to allocate efficient financial resources to Makhado municipality to repair and maintain the waste water treatment network within the municipality.
Both municipalities deliberately ignored the DA’s calls to fix the sewerage as it causes great harm to the environment and poses a massive health risk to the local businesses and residents of Makhado living adjacent to where the sewerage is overflowing.
The local businesses such as Eltivillas pumping station, abattoir and farms as well as schools and clinics are badly being affected. In some areas, the sewerage is coming out of bathrooms and toilets in the residential areas that causes an unpleasant smell in their houses.
The sewerage is also flowing in the streets of the industrial site of Makhado and towards the railway lines. This has caused a significant environmental pollution while the municipality is failing to take reasonable measures to prevent environmental harm.
The DA is also concerned about the possibility of the underground water that might also be contaminated putting the lives of the residents using boreholes at risk.
The DA will further write to the MEC for Environment, Seaparo Sekoati, to dispatch officials to probe this environment pollution and ensure that any other officials implicated are held accountable.
The DA hopes for a speedy investigation on Maluleke and Mutshinyali, and a handover for prosecution without delay.