Company steps in to fix municipality’s R135m toilet mess

2012-09-27 09:19

Sasol has promised to appoint a team of engineers to fix a R135 million dysfunctional sewage network system in Mpumalanga’s eMbalenhle township near Secunda.

The mining, gas, oil and chemicals company made the pledge after its group executive member Maurice Radebe met with Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza.

Mabuza’s spokesperson, Zibonele Mncwango, said: “The premier noticed the problem when he visited the township recently.

Sasol are expected to set up a team of engineers to provide a solution on the dire sewerage situation in eMbalenhle.”

City Press reported last month how the R135 million, which was budgeted to eradicate the bucket toilet system, was wasted through shoddy workmanship and the flouting of procurement procedures.

The consultants and contractor benefited R78 million in payments from the project, which has not been in working condition since 2005.

The Govan Mbeki council has ignored two reports on the problem – one forensic investigation was done by SizweNtsaluba VSP in 2008 and another was produced by the municipal public accounts committee in January this year.

The township’s streets are overflowing with sewage spill, while toilets are also full to capacity because of blocked pipes.

Residents have to dig furrows to direct the spill into storm water drains.

The Sasol meeting revealed that the company would allocate R70 million and R25 million to Govan Mbeki and Dipaleseng (Balfour) municipalities respectively to assist with community projects.

In the case of Govan Mbeki the money will be used for water connections, upgrading of sanitation and sport infrastructure, the construction of bridges, installation of street lights and the construction of 20 houses for poor families.

Dipaliseng Municipality will benefit from the upgrading of the sewerage plant and roads, and the fencing of a reservoir in Nthoroane.

“While it is not our competency to deliver on such projects, we see it befitting to partner and seek leadership from the provincial government in order to ensure that these projects are a success and that they leave a lasting positive impact in the communities where we do our business,” Radebe said.

Mabuza also said he would try to influence the department of higher education to consider establishing a faculty of science and technology for Mpumalanga’s new university in close proximity to Sasol’s plant in Secunda.

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