Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
5 minute read
17 Feb 2021
4:32 pm

SAHRC findings warn that Vaal River may be damaged ‘beyond repair’

Nica Richards

The 19 million residents dependant on the Vaal River are now confirmed to be at serious risk due to being exposed to pollution and raw sewage.

Raw sewage flowing into the Vaal River from pump stations in the Emfuleni municipality‚ posing environmental and health risks. Communities affected by the pollution include Vereeniging‚ Sebokeng‚ Boipatong and Sharpeville. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Pollution along the Vaal River, dam and barrage systems has been deemed a human rights violation, attributed to the Emfuleni Local Municipality, an inquiry conducted by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) announced on Wednesday.  The SAHRC first noted ongoing pollution leaking into the Vaal River from Rietspruit Wastewater Treatment Works in Vanderbijlpark, Leewkuil Wastewater Treatment Works in Vereeniging, and other areas within Emfuleni in 2018.  The 19 million residents dependent on the Vaal River are now confirmed to be at serious risk due to being exposed to pollution and raw sewage, a series of inactions which have resulted,...