DA welcomes SAHRC investigation into Polokwane Wastewater Treatment Plants

Issued by Johann Retters – DA Councillor- Polokwane Local Municipality
14 May 2024 in Press Statements

The DA in Polokwane welcomes the investigation by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) into the Polokwane and Seshego Wastewater Treatment Plants.

Last week, an advocate from the SAHRC accompanied DA councillors on oversights to both Wastewater Treatment Plants and the Blood and Sand rivers. (See photos here, here ,here and here)

The SAHRC’s oversight follows charges laid by the DA in July 2022 against Polokwane Municipality for releasing untreated wastewater into the Blood and Sand rivers.

Everyday more than 50 million litres of wastewater flow into the Blood and Sand rivers and it was clear during the oversights that both Wastewater Treatments plants are defunct. There was a foul smell of sewage along both rivers. (See photo here)

Millions of Rands were recently spent on the refurbishment of the Wastewater Treatment Plants, but the effect of the water quality pumped into both the Blood and Sand rivers remains questionable.

Residents and businesses on the perimeter of the treatment plants and along the Blood and Sand rivers have to endure the horrid stench. It is alarming that the same water is used for livestock and irrigation of crops.

On 28 February 2023 the DA laid criminal charges against the municipal manager for neglecting her duties to prevent wastewater pollution. Upon enquiry on the status of the case, SAPS claimed that the case has been “closed for control purposes” as “no suspected person could be identified”.

We will not tolerate the protection of cadres who jeopardise the well-being and health of residents and the environment.

The matter will be escalated to Members of Parliament to scrutinise SAPS’s unwillingness to investigate environmental crimes by municipal officials in Limpopo.

The DA eagerly anticipates the report and will ensure that Polokwane Local Municipality complies with the SAHRC’s  recommendations.

Vote DA on 29 May 2024 and help us to Rescue South Africa.