Mchunu warns water polluters



The minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu has issued a stern warning to those contaminating water resources saying they will face penalties.

Mchunu was addressing members of the media to mark World Water day.

“We are saying two things: stop polluting, where you fail to comply you will be dealt with via penalties,” he explained.

Mchunu said the Water Quality Management Policies and Strategies for SA (2017) identified pollution from wastewater treatment plants and mine operations as the main sources of pollution.

Minister said water quality challenges are not due to policy gaps, but rather non-compliances to existing standard.

He said the department was fast-tracking the activities of the anti-pollution task team to deal with all water quality pollution problems in the country.

“The objectives of the task team are to co-ordinate and integrate efforts for the management of water resources quality in SA. It will provide high-level guidance to ensure the protection of water resources and identity remedies to mitigate pollution affects. Compliance monitoring and enforcement is one of the key tasks,” he said.

“We are focusing on key schemes in the country such as big schemes in Mokopane and Polokwane in Limpopo and in the Free State, Bloemfontein and Gqeberge as well,” he said.

“Water is fundamental to human rights, water is life, and water is a necessity. As a government, we have a responsibility to make this reality for everyone,” said Mchunu.

“As a department, we have acknowledged that our country’s water resources are on the decline in both quality and quantity. We are not the only country facing water quality challenges,” he said.

Sekhukhune region alone have Flag Boshielo dam, De Hoop, Loskop and Piet Gous dam but its residents still drinks unclean water with animals.

But Director General (DG) of the department Dr Sean Phillips said water shortage in some areas could be due to several reasons such as particular climate issues even though there has been a lot of rainfall.

He said there were also other issues facing the department such as maintenance issues.

Phillips said that apart from the planned maintenance and upgrade, there were also anticipated breakdown due to pumping equipment.


Thapelo Motseo

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