Parys to stop Vaal sewage leak
Bloemfontein - The Ngwathe local municipality (Parys) in the Free State plans to give details on Thursday on how it will stop raw sewage leaking into the Vaal River.
A court order gives the municipality until Friday to take the necessary steps to prevent raw sewage flowing into the Vaal River from its sewage works.
On Wednesday, Ngwathe acting municipal manager Norman Selai said the municipality were working on the problem and that he would give details on Thursday morning.
Spokesperson for Save the Vaal Environment's (Save) Parys branch Annalien Burger said nobody from the municipality had contacted her on what was done in terms of the court interdict.
"Nothing, not a word, nobody."
Save applied for the interdict in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein, which was granted by Judge MB Molemela on September 17.
The court papers have no documents from the municipality opposing the application.
However, the court file has an affidavit from an employee of the attorneys representing Save indicating that various attempts to contact a Ngwathe representative in regard to the interdict had all failed.
The High Court papers also contain an order which compels the municipality to properly maintain its sewage works to ensure that there is no overflow or spillage from the sewage works into the Vaal River.
The interdict came after members of Save noticed raw sewage floating in the Vaal River, downstream from the sewage works, on September 2 this year.
Further investigations a week later revealed raw sewage was being pumped into the small stream next to the sewage works which runs into the Vaal River.
Save brought an urgent application to stop the spillage in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein and a final order was made on September 17.
Democratic Alliance spokesperson in the municipal council Gideon Mandelstam said his party had also laid charges against municipal officials in regard to the sewage.
Free State police spokesperson Colonel Sam Makhele said a charge was laid against the Ngwathe municipality for polluting the Vaal River in August this year, in relation to waste from an abattoir.
He said another statement in regard to pollution into the Vaal River was also taken by police at Parys on Wednesday.
River pollution-related charges have also been opened recently against the Moqhaka local municipality (Kroonstad).