Sewage works 'disaster waiting to happen'

2011-07-01 22:16

Johannesburg - South Africa's sewage works are a disaster waiting to happen, trade union Uasa said on Friday.

"The shocking state of the country’s waste water treatment plants [are] in need of an urgent high level intervention," Uasa spokesperson Andre Venter said in a statement.

The absence of intervention is "gradually feeding the disaster which is slowly but surely creeping up on us", he said.

Venter was reacting to the latest Green Drop Report released by Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Thursday.

The report measured the state of wastewater treatment plants in all nine provinces.

It indicated that less than half of South Africa's 821 sewage works were treating billions of litres of effluent they receive each day to safe and acceptable standards.

While it awards Green Drop status to 40 plants - up from 33 in 2009 - it warned that another 460 plants (56%) were either in "critical state" or delivering a "very poor performance".

Venter said some of the problems stemmed from a lack of human capacity and infrastructure. The current financial and managerial situation was also an issue for concern.

"Citizens all over the world are not keen to pay for sewage removal."

On the positive side, Venter commended the department for "a tremendous amount of good work" that was being done.

He cited an example of the department's innovative plan to reward municipalities that effectively manage their water treatment plants.

Of the 821 plants, a total of 40 - those awarded Green Drop status - were in an "excellent situation".

Seventy-eight were "good”, and 243 delivered an "average performance".

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    uasa  |  environment  |  pollution
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Habana believes in younger Boks
All Blacks ready for a 'hell of a battle'
Barnes to ref Boks, Wales clash
Brave Blossoms: 'Sport heroes of Japan'

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand more

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


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 network.


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.