R341m set aside to prevent pollution in the Vaal River - Water dept

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The polluted Vaal River. (Picture: www.fse.org.za)
The polluted Vaal River. (Picture: www.fse.org.za)

The Department of Water and Sanitation has set aside R341m for the resuscitation of all wastewater treatment infrastructure in the Vaal Triangle.

The aim of the project is to prevent further pollution in the Vaal River.

Water Affairs Minister Gugile Nkwinti announced on Friday that the East Rand Water Care Company (ERWAT), will ensure that all wastewater treatment infrastructure is resuscitated to an operational state and that pollution in the Vaal River is stopped.

Nkwinti told community members at Saul Tsotetsi Sports Centre in Sebokeng, that his department together with COGTA department in Gauteng, Emfuleni Local Municipality, South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) and the ERWAT, signed an Implementation Protocol on March 29.

He indicated that the allocated money will be used to train 250 youth and community members on plumbing, carpentry, brick-laying, paving and agriculture.

“SANDF will also train 2000 youth and community members to guard 44 pump stations until the completion of the project, that is projected for March 2020,” he said.

READ: R240m cash injection to fix polluted Vaal River, but it still isn't enough

Nkwinti informed the community that 120 000 Households will benefit from Module 6 of the Sebokeng Wastewater Treatment Works, a regional bulk sanitation infrastructure, which is projected to be completed by the end of May 2019. Module 7 of the project is expected to start by July 2019.

The minister also announced the establishment of the Vaal Catchment Management Agency in a bid to protect water resources in the area.

"The work of the Agency will include river monitoring, reporting on pollution incidents and dealing with polluters. The Agency is expected to also raise awareness and educate citizens on protection of the water resources and environment, local planning with citizens as well as manage the processing of water use licenses.

“The Vaal River Catchment Management Agency will ensure that water is protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable and equitable manner," he said. 

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