Municipal

Stream in K’dp West identified as dodgy

A stream in Krugersdorp West is full of pollution and suspected rapes.

Water pollution and suspected sexual assault are a huge problem in Krugersdorp West.

According to Georgina Lackinger, from the South African Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, river pollution is nothing new in town and causes bigger rivers to be polluted. She added that the stream in Krugersdorp West is unliveable for any form of life due to pollution and a lack of oxygen in the water.

The oxygen meter indicates the oxygen levels in the water.

“Everything is dead in the water. When we tested the oxygen levels in the water it was 54.9%, whereas a healthy river is supposed to have oxygen readings of between 90% and 120%. I suspect an oil manufacturing company is also dumping its waste in the river because some animals, like the owls I rescued, were covered in oil,” added Lackinger.

Used condoms on the bank of the stream.

She claims they found all sorts of rubbish in the stream, even a jet ski once. She added sewerage worms in the river banks, due to sewerage running into the stream.

“The biggest problem I have with this stream is the health risks it poses to the community around it. Kids are swimming in it, people getting baptised, and it is so polluted that you cannot even water your plants with it, or they will die. I suspect that this is one of the reasons that the Cradle of Humankind’s rivers are so polluted because this stream flows into the Bloubankspruit,” Lackinger added.

Pollution is not the only problem in the stream, suspected rape and sexual assault are also a major problem.

A used condom on the bank of the river.

According to a resident who wanted to remain anonymous, in fear of being targeted, numerous suspected sexual assaults take place around the stream.

Oil in the stream.

“This has been going on for the last 14 years. I can see how it happens from my property. It is often children, where the older kids take advantage of the younger ones. It is not uncommon for the older boys sodomising the younger boys. I suspect that some of it is rape, but cannot be certain, but a lot of them are kids, and it can be sexual misconduct, due to their age,” the source added.

When the Krugersdorp News reached out to Krugersdorp Police Station Commander, Brigadier Happy Xaba, he stated that he is not aware of any suspected rape cases near the stream and said that if there are, they are unreported.

Used condom packets on the stream bank.

As the News visited the stream, there were hundreds of used condoms lying all over the river banks. The News also noted underwear in the bushes.

The News reached out to Mogale City Local Municipality (MCLM) communications officer Adrian Amod, who said that they are aware of the pollution in the stream and that, based on the inspections conducted in the past, it was found that there is pollution and although not confirmed the pollution sources appear to be sewage, industrial, and domestic refuse and waste.

An owl was rescued from the river, covered in oil.

“Several attempts in the past were unsuccessful to locate the source of the pollution, which in almost all instances is located alongside the riparian zone of the watercourse after the cement canal releases water into the natural stream where it is landlocked by agricultural small holdings. Accessibility to the riparian zone for foot patrols and inspections is hampered by dense vegetation growth and steep slopes.

Petri dish indicating E.coli in the stream.

“The municipality is also unable to locate the sources of the pollution via the use of a drone due to dense undergrowth. The Environmental Management Inspectors of the Environmental Protection Sub-Division under Biodiversity Management therefore heavily rely on communities to assist in locating the exact location of any pollution source. These locations can be reported [anonymously] to the Biodiversity Management Division to register on the Complaints Management Database during office hours. The inspectors will, as soon as practically possible, conduct the inspections and take appropriate actions, which may involve reporting to the Compliance Enforcement Unit of the Department of Water and Sanitation, to conduct further investigations and take appropriate action in terms of the provisions contained in the National Water Act,” Amod continued.

In regards to the suspected sexual assaults, Amod added that these should be reported to the Krugersdorp police.

“The police will determine appropriate actions to be taken,” Amod concluded.

You can contact the Complaints Management Database on 011 951 2415.

 
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