Avatar photo

By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist

‘Catastrophic and deadly’- Outrage over contaminated drinking water in Emfuleni

Residents in parts of Emfuleni have been told to boil water before drinking

The DA in the legislature has accused the Emfuleni Local Municipality of gross incompetence after the municipality warned its residents of contaminated drinking water.

Drinking water contaminated  

The municipality recently released a notice warning those in Sebokeng and Palm Springs to be aware of contamination caused by a broken sewer pipe.

ALSO READ: Report finds South Africans are not drinking enough water or exercising

“Technicians are suspecting a collapsed sewer pipeline in one of the affected areas as the cause of drinking water contamination,” the notice said.

Residents were asked to boil drinking water before consuming it, while specialists from the Department of Water and Sanitation were investigating water quality.

The Citizen reached out to the municipality for comment and updates. This will be included once received.


DA MPL Kingsol Chabalala said the municipality was negligent and had placed residents at risk.

“As the DA we are deeply concerned and worried that Emfuleni municipality continues to put the lives of residents at risk by failing to maintain and replace the ageing water and sewer infrastructure which is prone to breakdowns and this has to possible water contamination.”

ALSO READ: Five ways to start fixing SA’s deteriorating water

Chabalala said if the crisis was not properly handled it could be catastrophic and deadly.

“What is also of great concern is the lacklustre approach of the municipality in dealing with the impending disaster by failing to ensure proper maintenance of sewer pipelines and manholes in our communities,” he said.

Chabalala accused the municipality of wasting money on less important things.

“They are quick to waste and recklessly spend financial resources of the municipality on insignificant things which in no way benefit residents of the municipality,” he said.

‘Substandard water and sewer systems’

EFF Gauteng provincial chairperson, Commissar Nkuleleko Dunga, said the contamination exposed residents to illness and death.

“Regrettably, the Emfuleni Local Municipality has become synonymous with substandard water and sewer systems. A situation exacerbated by the persistent neglect of infrastructure, and the corruption and incompetence prevalent within the ANC-led government.”

Read more on these topics

Democratic Alliance (DA) Emfuleni water