Dept missing at media briefing

2010-03-01 18:04
Cape Town - Amid growing concerns about the state of sewage treatment plants around the country, the department of water affairs was absent from government's infrastructure development cluster media briefing on Monday.

"Water Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica is on a state visit [to the United Kingdom] with the president... Unfortunately, we don't have anyone [else] in the room," government communications official Neo Momudu told journalists at Parliament, who had posed questions on the issue.

She apologised, and said questions raised would be forwarded to the department.

The absence of a representative from water affairs comes against a background of reports that only 32 of about 980 waste water treatment plants around the country comply with regulatory requirements for the safe discharge of treated sewage water.

Higher E. coli levels

According to a document distributed at the briefing, an amount of R195m was allocated for the 2009/10 and current financial years "for the upgrade and refurbishment of municipal waste water treatment works".

One question raised was whether this was enough to solve the problem.

It has been reported that levels of E. coli bacteria - caused by the discharge of untreated sewage - have risen dramatically in recent years in many river systems around the country.

Among other things, the briefing document states: "It must be noted that South Africa is reaching the limits of its fresh water resources and therefore a concerted effort towards water conservation is needed quite urgently."

'Major problems' at plants

The department has been sitting on a copy of a so-called "Green Drop" report for the past several months. The report contains an analysis of sewage treatment plants around the country.

In January this year, the Democratic Alliance speculated in a statement that the months-long delay in its release was "primarily due to its shocking content".

Sources within the department, who declined to be named, have confirmed to Sapa there are "major problems" at sewage treatment plants around the country.

In a written response to a question earlier this year, the department said the delay in issuing the report was due to it "finalising our consultation" with affected municipalities.

"A rushed release of this report would not do anything towards solving whatever problems must have been identified," it said at the time.
 

- SAPA
Read more on:    cape town  |  water
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.