Union pleased with water improvement

By Drum Digital
08 May 2012

The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) is pleased with the improvement in municipal drinking water quality following the release of the Blue Drop report, the trade union said on Tuesday.

"We are very proud of the efforts of our members and note that the three top water quality scorers were all in the Gauteng region," Imatu general secretary Johan Koen said in a statement.

Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, the City of Johannesburg and Mogale City Local Municipality all received over 98 percent in the report, which was released by Water Minister Edna Molewa on Monday.

The report, which covers the period January to December last year, showed the number of municipalities awarded Blue Drop status had risen significantly, from 66 in the previous (2011) report, to 98.

The latest Blue Drop report -- essentially a national assessment of drinking water quality -- involved an audit of 153 local, district and metropolitan municipalities, and this time round included nearly all 931 plants in the country's water system.

Imatu said it was encouraged by the improvement in South Africa's water quality, and believed quality drinking water management should be implemented in all municipalities.

"Imatu strongly believes that all South Africans should have access to clean, quality drinking water and there are still a number of municipalities that must be improved," said Koen.

The department red-flagged 14 municipalities where residents were warned not to drink tap water without boiling it or adding bleach.

These municipalities were: Ikwezi and Kou-Kamma local municipalities, in the Eastern Cape; Letsemeng, Ngwathe, Nketoane and Phumelela local municipalities, in the Free State; Thabazimbi Local Municipality, in Limpopo; Bushbuckridge, Chief Albert Luthuli, Mkhondo, Msukaligwa, and Nkomazi local municipalities, in Mpumalanga; Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, in North West; and Umsobomvu Local Municipality, in the Northern Cape.

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