The Randfontein waste water treatment works is not fully operational‚ resulting in untreated sewage leaving the plant and polluting the community’s water source.
This admission was made by the Rand West City Municipality as it met the Gauteng provincial officials of the South African Human Rights Commission on Tuesday.
The commission was on a fact-finding mission following complaints by the residents that untreated sewage was flowing from the sewage processing plant into the Tweelopies Spruit.
The residents claimed that raw sewage that enters the plant was let into the river without any treatment of the effluent and the untreated black water finds its way to the Hartbeespoort Dam.
According to residents‚ this poses serious risks to the environment and the health of people who are dependent on water from the Hartbeespoort Dam system.
Buang Jones‚ the commission’s Gauteng provincial manager‚ said the municipality conceded that the treatment plant was not fully operational and operating under 50% of its capability.
Jones said the municipal manager‚ who met the commission at the treatment plant‚ said its failure to have a fully functional treatment plant was caused by lack of resources.
However‚ Jones said money had been allocated to the municipality in the past few years to deal with this issue.
He went on to reveal that the municipality had sought R20-million from the Department of Water and Sanitation to refurbish the entire plant.
“The municipality has started with the procurement process. They hope the steps they have taken will resolve all the issues.”
Jones said the commission will summon the municipal manager and the mayor to appear before the commission before the end of the month.
The purpose of the appearance was for the municipality to account for its failure to perform its duties‚ which includes the maintenance of the sewage treatment plant.
During its visit‚ the commission also met the communities of Mohlakeng and Toekomsrus‚ who informed the commission about the impact the quality of water had on their lives.