News24

Dirty water for many parts of SA

2011-03-27 18:42

Johannesburg - More than one third of 231 ­local municipalities do not have the capacity to perform their ­sanitation functions, a new study by the Council for ­Scientific and Industrial ­Research (CSIR) has found.

The report, discussed at a United Nations water ­conference in Cape Town, includes a comprehensive survey of South Africa’s levels of water pollution.

It also tracks access to clean, safe water and sanitation. And it warns that South Africa is heading for ­disaster unless it tackles the problem of water pollution, ­including its failing sewage treatment ­systems.

It found that the situation was so bad, it called for waste-water facilities that did not comply with their licences to be prosecuted.

Water quality, the report ­stated, was excellent in metropolitan areas, but in many rural areas and towns, drinking water quality and waste-water effluent quality were frequently below the standards set.

Short-sighted planning

In some areas, short-sighted planning resulted in bucket eradication schemes causing deterioration instead of ­improvement in the provision of sanitation.

In some Free State settlements the replacement of buckets with waterborne systems left residents with no sanitation at all. The water supply was insufficient to flush toilets.

In other places, large ­increases in sewage inflow ­volume led to overloading of waste-water treatment works and pollution of downstream river systems.

The estimated current ­replacement cost of municipal water services stock, according to the report, is R169bn (R103bn for water and R66bn for sanitation).

Much of this infrastructure “is not in a fit state to continue delivering high-quality and ­reliable water services”.

The widely held belief in South Africa was that water service “backlogs” concerned those who did not have access to services in the past.

Yet other needs “far surpass” these, the report said. This ­included the rehabilitation, ­replacement or provision of ­neglected sanitation infrastructure.

Poor leadership

The capital required to ­address infrastructure backlogs made up 17% of total infrastructure requirements, the ­report stated. By comparison, the rehabilitation or replacement of neglected infrastructure ran to “a staggering 49%”.

The failure of many ­municipalities to deliver reliable sanitation services was mainly due to poor leadership and ­inadequate budgets, skills and experience.
 
Many health problems were the direct result of the collapse of existing sanitation systems. Untreated, polluted drinking water was a major contributor to diarrhoea-related deaths and diseases, the report said.

Johan Erasmus, operational manager of Mahlatsi Enterprises, a firm contracted by the ­department of water affairs to monitor water purification plants in Mpumalanga, warned that many of them were in a ­“disastrous” state.

These municipalities, he said, never took seriously their duty to deliver clean water and proper ­sanitation to people.

“They never budgeted money for this; not for maintenance and also not for new plants. In many cases we discovered that the town manager had not even purchased the chemicals ­needed for their water ­purification plants.”

Irrigation

He added that very few of the water and/or water purification plant officials he had to deal with had the qualifications or the experience to do their jobs properly.

“None of the water ­purification plants was up to standard because the personnel were not up to standard.”

The result, he said, was ­“horrifying” - raw sewage ­running down the streets of small towns like Evander.

 Bethal’s water, he said, was so bad that farmers could not use it for irrigation.

Comments
  • Francois - 2011-03-27 20:37

    Come on our water is clean, it even cures Aids according to the President and he NEVER lies.

  • edvermaak - 2011-03-27 20:38

    The entire f****g ANC leadership should be tried in the Hague for their atrocities against the poor in South Africa. It is a damned disgrace that their blatant greed, dishonesty, irreverence etc. etc. should go unnoticed by the world. Or is it a case of our mineral resources? Not too different from the oil in the Middle East.....

      mathilda - 2011-03-27 21:28

      What exactly is it that you want "the world" to do about the inefficient management of SA's water supply? What are YOU (and other SA'ans) doing about it? Are you voting the ANC out in the next election? Your hint at the mineral resources is entirely off the mark, SA has excellent mineral resources and if "the world" was only after that, they would be swarming SA right now, trying to take over and get their greedy paws on your mineral resources. You really have to decide what it is you want now...."the world" (USA?? who else?) is damned if they do, and damned if they don't. You cannot keep on criticizing "the world" for stepping in in some countries, AND at the same time, criticizing them for NOT stepping in in other countries. Grow a pair and VOTE the ANC out.

      Zion - 2011-03-28 06:55

      Mathilda, Sanctions work wonders and the international exposure causes embarrassment Although in our case skins may be a lot too thick.

  • Digit - 2011-03-27 21:03

    From being amongst the best water on the plane to unsanitary in one step ..... Vote ANC ....... I think this sums it up in a tight nutshell. Pity that the country is full of numbskulls who will continue voting for the ANC regardless .....

      nonhli - 2011-03-27 22:16

      I think it's the other numbskull that is clearly clueless that not ALL municipalities are run by the ANC. Sometimes numbskulls should try not to believe everything they read or hear at their lets-winge-about-the country dinner chats. Hey, I'm one to admit that those municipalities could very likey be all run by the ANC...but sometimes it's mature not to follow the stereotyped grapevine. And by the way...we come from "being amongst the best water in the plane" sure... but guess which priviledged few (the lower the population the easier it is to manage) enjoyed adequate water infrastructure mostly...You're not such a numbskull-digit that I think you are if you know the answer...

      Archimedes - 2011-03-28 09:04

      @digit - The numbskulls will always be there, do'nt you realise it is Africa? You can comment as much as you like, it will not change the African mentality. So here's the deal: Accept to live the African way, or, pack-up and find yourself a place of civilisation.

      mm - 2011-03-28 09:22

      Nonhli, you are also infected with the "It was taken out of context" excuse I see. I am sorry, but the media cannot ALWAYS be wrong. And sure, in the apartheid era clean water was perhaps only available to a "priveledged few". Yet, it is now 17 years later, and like it or not the ANC DOES run 98% of municipalities, and they got a fantastic water and sanitation system from the old government. Like Eskom, all they had to do was to keep it going, maintain it. But they chose to rather use their budgets on bonuses. And now 17 years later, the chickens are coming home to roost. Yes sure, now millions more have access to water, but do they not deserve clean water. When, oh when will you open your eyes and admit that the ANC f***ed up. I am not saying dont support them. Its your democratic right to support them, but it really is time for the die hard members to admit that they have done wrong, and to start whipping their leaders into shape. For their own good, for their children at least. Your "it was taken out of context" and "dont believe everything you read" attitude is going to cost you and your children a much higher price than you realise.

      Other Justin - 2011-03-28 13:37

      @nonhli - Really? Do you really believe your own drivel? South Africa is overwhelmingly dominated by the ANC, hence the assumption that these municipalities are ANC run. I would like to see exactly which ones the CSIR is talking about, but I would put money on it that the worst, if not all are ANC run. It is exactly your 'dont believe everything you read...' mentality that has made the country teeter on the edge of failure. Welcome to the party, YOU ARE A PART OF THE PROBLEM!

      POLLENYS - 2011-07-17 19:42

      ". . . discovered that the town manager had not even purchased the chemicals ­needed . . . " Was it perhaps spent on parties? Whenever I read something connected to the ANC I always get the smell of s**t.

  • Trudy - 2011-03-27 21:05

    Would be nice to know which municipalities they talk about, give us a list

      Barry - 2011-03-28 08:44

      Witbank must be the worst

  • ASDEB - 2011-03-27 21:06

    You think this is bad? WAIT! More to come.

  • GT - 2011-03-27 21:10

    Never has so much money been spent achieving so little. WTF does a government ignore the state of WATER and ELECTRICITY. It seems that it is their goal to drive us back to a feudal society living off the scraps of the earth. This is just unacceptable for anyone who has the faintest notion of living in a progressive, successful and developing country.

  • jackABC - 2011-03-27 21:12

    And then UJ goes and cancels its relationship with ben gurion univ who were working on this exact problem. Typical ANC fools,

  • Lawence - 2011-03-27 21:14

    The treatment of water is the responsibility of Local Government and not the Dept of Water. And the Municipalities are, as we know, run by incompetent elected people. And they spend, what they get around to spending (and not stealing) the money on what they think their votes will see and then vote them back into power. Income from water is not spent on the water infrastructure. And nothing will change. The structure and rules are wrong. The skills and resources are just not there. And yet this dirty water is put back into the water system. And the problems become the problem for the next municipality down the water system. The water you drink may have gone through 11 people’s bodies before it gets to your month.

      GT - 2011-03-27 21:29

      Yes you are right Lawerence, except that the Dept of Water has oversight and is the last point in the management system. If they are not testing and overseeing (or havent been for 15 years) then they are responsible.

  • Waynne-Edward - 2011-03-27 21:24

    Here is the CSIR's report if anyone wants 2 read it: http://www.csir.co.za/nre/docs/CSIR%20Perspective%20on%20Water_2010.PDF

  • fracham - 2011-03-27 21:32

    This confirm stories I hear , Grahamstown is another case. One hears of a German Water Specialist being escorted to the airport because his solution was cost effective and simple. This obviously was in line with Govt plans of multi million contracts with the affirmatives the main beneficiaries. A big picture is unfolding and its very scary. Very .

  • Gundaan - 2011-03-27 22:41

    @ mathilda ...hey hey hey , climb down from your high horse ...all edvermaak was saying is that the present situation is unacceptable ...we all know that ...& I agree with him , but don,t shoot the poor guy down in flames ...what the hell are YOU doing to change this bunch of bloody commie terrorists that pose as a democratic government ...look at yourself first before kaking on others ...

  • Gloria - 2011-03-27 22:41

    It's a disgrace honestly,to think SA water was once ranked amongst the 1st 3 in purity.With the state of affairs right now all resources that once were got overlooked instead maintaining them.It is really scary the rate at which the country is deteriorating, yes people continue to vote for no improvement in their lives, especially the hardly hit in the rural areas where they are told during canvassing that if they don't vote for this party they won't go to heaven,just because they want the carteblanche never to end at the expense of peoples' lives.It's pathetic.

  • Monica - 2011-03-27 23:45

    Incompetent and un-skilled people!!!! Just never-ending!!! Get rid of the ANC South Africa!!!

  • Martin - 2011-03-28 07:51

    This is what happens when you let a terrorist organization run a country...

  • Melly30 - 2011-03-28 08:52

    No thanks to the ANC and all it's stupid comrades!!!! They can't do anything right, yet alone run a country!! DA DA DA DA...:)

  • BigMoose - 2011-03-28 08:55

    With the ANC, everything turns to sh*t.

  • Melly30 - 2011-03-28 08:58

    And people think I am crazy because a boil my water first then I filter it!!! ANC Please step down... Let the DA take over please, clearly you idiots have no clue... You just know how to take take take, ruin ruin ruin and break break break everything!

  • Rumbler - 2011-03-28 09:02

    This is a sad and serious state of affairs! The bottom line is if you voted for the ANC, you are part of the problem and must assume some of the blame for what is and what is to come. We need independent fully qualified people to manage our towns/cities and all the facilities and services that they provide! Its time to give another party a chance to see what they can do to alleviate the myriad of problems that are coming down on us like a tsunami.

  • mm - 2011-03-28 09:13

    Another symptom of having a sick government. But lets vote for them because they were "freedom fighters". Lets not care about the future of our children. Lets leave them to steal and plunder money that are supposed to be used for the upkeep of the country to buy expensive houses and cars and make their families rich. More proof that the ANC "is the future". Keep voting for them till you die. Keep voting for your doom

  • Michael - 2011-03-28 11:01

    Well what is working well in our beautiful country? Nothing anymore - only 1 positive - apartheid is gone but now we left to deal with a whole lot of other SH** !

  • Other Justin - 2011-03-28 13:30

    Another criminal act by our corrupt, incompetent and rubbish 'leaders' The sad thing is that the people that are suffering from the ANC uselessness are the same ones that keep voting them into power. If you vote ANC, then I am sorry, but I cannot feel sympathy for you. Make a change for yourself and this country and DON'T VOTE ANC! A vote for the ANC is a vote for corruption, nepotism, fraud, greed, immorality and criminality and last but not least RACISM. Vote for the ANC and ROT in the bed you yourself have made.

  • VuyosWors - 2011-03-28 14:09

    Wat ees rong wid de water she tast veri naice. Ai laik to drink eet wid my cheekin end ai washa mi faice wid eet den ai go sheet een de reever by mai shak.

  • annie.kalahari - 2011-03-29 02:07

    When Dr Stinton issued this warning two years ago, the government fired him. Perhaps they should have listened to him instead.

  • annie.kalahari - 2011-03-29 02:26

    If you know how badly polluted the irrigation water is which farmers are forced to use on their crops, it's small wonder that South African wines are getting such a bad press these days, with some experts describing some regional brands it as smelling of 'burnt rubber' and even worse and that already was two years ago: (New York Times June 26 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/world/africa/29stellenbosch.html

      ex-pat - 2011-07-17 21:27

      Well, Annie, I read the article and there was no mention that the water could be the problem, plus, it commented that wines from other countries earned the same description.

  • Paul - 2011-04-19 00:19

    Kan ons nie van die Zuma miljoene gebruik maak om ons water skoon te kry nie? Hulle almal sal seker weer Switserland toe hardloop wanneer die moeilikheid kom. Met al ons belastingbetalers se geld daar by.

  • Israel - 2011-07-17 20:54

    I would like to send attachments to all of you where I show a pic of the greek were I was working before & many pics showing his factory poluting the enviroment with toxic granite waist from his machines that cut blocks of granite ,that every 6 month this Greek dump thousands of liter of toxic slurry into the storm drains of the factory because of a filterpress malfunction and that toxic slurry from the granite factory contains Polonium, Lead, Plutonium, Uranium, and Thallium. Other heavy metals like Arsenic, Mercury, Tungsten, Cadmium and Vanadium are also present.Granite has more poisonous substances in it than any other countertop The granite,present in dust form, it can lead to increased risk of cancers of the lungs, pancreas, and blood. If ingested, there is an increased risk of liver diseases by far . I would like to send it to the green scorpions when my case is done at the Labour Court. Let me know how I can send you E-Mails with attachments so I can show what kind of Mafia is my ex greek Boss , is a white collar criminal and I can prouve it. On the attachments that I will try to send you is first a pic of one of many fakes,simulated payslips this greek make for the SARS for not paying any tax for me and the Financial Manager avoid my youn lawyer from legal wise when I send him to try to get my Ui19 at the factory she was never there so in all these year I couldn't claim any. Regards : Diego

  • Israel - 2011-07-17 21:43

    I would like to send you attachments were I show the a photo of the greek I was working before & many photos showing his factory polluting the environment with toxic granite waist from his machines that cut blocks of granite, just Google this question Is Granite Toxic? Yes, very much so! There are three main dangers, dust ingestion, dust inhalation, and heavy metal leaching caused by acidic food or drink. Granite contains Polonium, Lead, Plutonium, Uranium, and Thallium. Other heavy metals like Arsenic, Mercury, Tungsten, Cadmium and Vanadium are also present . it can lead to increased risk of cancers of the lungs, pancreas, and blood. If ingested, there is an increased risk of liver diseases. Granite has more poisonous substances in it than any other countertop material, by far.So every 6 months or less the filter press malfunction making a build up of toxic slurry in the main silo then , the slurry start going into the tank of the recycle water making all the recycle water of the factory unusable so the only way this greek deal with this problem is dumping most of the contents into the storm drain of the factory polluting the recycle water of the municipality and that the filters of the municipality could never take all the toxics from the polluted water before putting it back on circulation for the people to drink without knowing the toxic elements left in the water all this and more will be send to the green scorpions when my case is done at the Labour Court

  • Israel - 2011-07-17 21:48

    I would like to send you attachments were I show the a photo of the greek I was working before & many photos showing his factory polluting the environment with toxic granite waist from his machines that cut blocks of granite, just Google this question Is Granite Toxic? Yes, very much so! There are three main dangers, dust ingestion, dust inhalation, and heavy metal leaching caused by acidic food or drink. Granite contains Polonium, Lead, Plutonium, Uranium, and Thallium. Other heavy metals like Arsenic, Mercury, Tungsten, Cadmium and Vanadium are also present . it can lead to increased risk of cancers of the lungs, pancreas, and blood. If ingested, there is an increased risk of liver diseases. Granite has more poisonous substances in it than any other countertop material, by far.So every 6 months or less the filter press malfunction making a build up of toxic slurry in the main silo then , the slurry start going into the tank of the recycle water making all the recycle water of the factory unusable so the only way this greek deal with this problem is dumping most of the contents into the storm drain of the factory polluting the recycle water of the municipality and that the filters of the municipality could never take all the toxics from the polluted water before putting it back on circulation for the people to drink without knowing the toxic elements left in the water all this and more will be send to the green scorpions when my case is done at the Labour Court

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