Steve Tshwete Mayor promises to fight pollution of Klein Olifants

A building contractor who crosses the Klein Olifants River downstream from the Boskrans Wastewater Treatment Plant says it seems as if there was a breakdown at the plant and they simply opened the pipes so the sewerage can run into the river.

The man, who requested for his name to be withheld, said that he uses the low water bridge over the river near Avalon on a daily basis to travel to a nearby building site.
He says that the river has always been in a terrible state but he noticed a drastic decline in the water and an overpowering stench last week.

“The water stinks more than usual and there is a lot of solid matter drifting in the water and laying on the river banks,” he observed.

In January a proposal by DA councillor Jos Pretorius, to stop the illegal polluting of the Klein Olifants River with raw sewerage from Boskrans, was handed in during a council sitting.

The ANC supported the proposal with Steve Tshwete Mayor Bagudi Tolo saying that R300 000 will be spent to acquire a generator for the waste water treatment works. The generator was to keep the pumps working during power cuts, which is when the pollution is said to be at its worst.

Steve Tshwete Municipal Manager, Bheki Khenisa, said that load-shedding was the culprit for the state of the river.

March saw the country being slapped with stage four load-shedding, causing three power cuts lasting two and a half hours each, on a daily basis.
“When the power is out, some of the units at Boskrans cannot be used and this results in partial treatment of sewage for the duration of the load shedding,” Mr Khenisa said.

He said that a budget proposal has been made and is waiting for council approval so the generator could be bought.

“This will ensure that pollution of the river no longer occurs when there is load shedding by Eskom,” said Mr Khenisa.






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Jana Boshoff

Award-winning community news journalist with over a decade's newsroom experience. Passionate about hard-hitting news stories!
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