Minister Sisulu to take away Emfuleni Municipality’s powers to fix Vaal River

VAAL TRIANGLE - Minister of Human settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, is taking over the water infrastructure of the Emfuleni local municipality on the Vaal River. Her move follows a South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) report into the state of wastewater treatment sparked by reports of raw sewage flowing into the Vaal and affecting the drinking water of nearly half of Gauteng’s population. The SAHRC gave various parties 60 days to respond after it found that the continued flow of raw sewage into the Vaal, homes and public areas in the Emfuleni municipality was a violation of human rights.

Meanwhile, Emfuleni Municipality Administrator Gilberto Martins told eNCA that the municipality takes full accountability for the pollution of the Vaal River. In an interview on eNCA Martins said he attributes the Vaal River crisis to financial constraints and ageing wastewater infrastructure. The municipality was put under administration in 2018 following a R1-million irregular expenditure bill. According to Martins, in August 2020 they put three key areas under administration, these include sewage, financial management, supply chain management and service delivery. PHOTO: (Supplied)

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