DA lays charges over Swartspruit pollution

Clr Tracey Lourenco and Mike Waters, the DA’s deputy chief whip in the National Assembly and Lethabong constituency head, at Kempton Park Police Station to lay charges against former City of Ekurhuleni city manager Khaya Ngema.

The DA has laid charges against the City of Ekurhuleni city manager Dr Imogen Mashazi and Ekurhuleni mayor Clr Mzwandile Masina for contravening the National Water Act (No. 36 of 1998) by failing to resolve the Swartspruit sewage problem effectively.

The DA opened a case at Kempton Park Police Station on December 18.

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Clr Tracey Lourenco said the metro’s first attempts to resolve the problem had been inadequate. “They started working a small section in front of Builders Warehouse on Besembos Street but the problem comes from further up,” Lourenco said.

She said tests that were conducted on the water showed that pollution levels were extremely high.

“Despite a petition and various emails to departments to get Swartspruit cleaned up, it did not happen. “We are now forcing them to take action.”

According to Lourenco, the Swartspruit has been an ongoing problem area for six years and has only gotten worse.

She said residents had complained about the issue, with most of those affected having to live with a terrible smell from the pollution.

“We got to a point where we could not let it get to the next level, which will be total contamination.”

Lourenco said E.coli bacteria could give rise to airborne diseases that could pose a major health risk for nearby residents.

“People who are on oxygen and those who are asthmatic cannot open their windows because the smell is so potent. There are many health risks, especially if it gets into drinking water pipes.

“Wetlands remain a vital part of communities and people’s lives,” Lourenco said.

Information in this article has been updated since first published

Tumi Riba

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