ARMOUR      Action for Responsible Management of our Rivers

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News Articles

A Re Sebetseng - Mayor's Clean Up Campaign

Feedback Report, John du Plessis, Created: November 04, 2017 

ARMOUR commends and supports the campaign by Johannesburg Mayor to clean up the city !!

Litter is the blight of Gauteng's rivers. Litter deposited in the streets of the city accumulates during the dry season and then with the first rain and floods gets washed into the river systems. River clean up campaigns such as Spruitday have found computer and electronic equipment, clothing, mattresses, cables and cable casing from electricity and telecomms companies and of course millions of plastic bags.

A Re Sebetseng creates an opportunity to clean up rubbish before it enters the river systems. ARMOUR met Mayor Herman Mashaba at the latest clean-up and presented him with the ARMOUR brochure while updating him on our mission and objectives. The mayor expressed his support for the work being done by ARMOUR

We also strongly commend Kenya for banning plastic bags entirely.

The "Last Straw" campaign aims to eliminate the use of plastic straws.

Plastics take between 500 to 1,000 years to break down, also enter the human food chain through fish and other animals. Many bags drift into the ocean, strangling turtles, suffocating seabirds and filling the stomachs of dolphins and whales with waste until they die of starvation.

Mayor Receives ARMOUR brochure from John duP

A Day's catch from the river banks

Braamfonteinspruit after flood

Klein Jukskei after flood

Update on Jukskei (Alexandra) Rehabilitation project

John du Plessis,  Issued 25 September 2017

The City of Joburg (CoJ) has commenced with planned upgrades on the Upper Jukskei River, with the latest CoJ budget making R5 million available for this project, for the establishment of a greenbelt park in Alexandra. Area rehabilitation experts Plantwise were appointed to construct the park, which started with the stabilisation of the river banks, planting indigenous trees and installing playground equipment, as well as building a 5-a-side indoor football court, an outdoor (tennis?) court and a cycle path. The results are truly excellent! 

Plantwise Site Manager - Riaan

Bank stabilisation using gabions

Indoor 5 a side soccer 

Park and cycle path

Unfortunately, the Jukskei River itself and the river bank opposite the development is in a sorry state. The banks are eroded, illegal dumping threatens previous stabilisation and the river is littered and foul with sewerage.

Eroded and unstable banks

Illegal dumping into the river

Sewerage and litter fouls the river

Mr Pule Makena of City Parks hopes that the residents will use and take ownership of the new park facilities and that in turn, this will encourage a sense of pride that leads to a clean-up of this section of the Jukskei.

Further upgrades are planned for other sites on the Jukskei River, but are constrained by the available budgets. This is an opportunity for private companies and individuals to come together and assist in  addressing the problems. 

Come on Joburg let's work together to fix the Jukskei and make it a living resource !

50 000 litres of sewage flow into SA's rivers every second

M&G article:  Sipho Kings  21 Jul 2017  

South Africa’s municipal sewage system has largely collapsed. Of the 824 treatment plants, maybe only 60 release clean water.

Raw or partially treated sewage flows into rivers throughout the country, turning dams green and killing people who drink the polluted water. From big metros such as Johannesburg to towns like Villiers in the Free State, what is flushed down the toilet either escapes out of broken pipes or from the plants meant to treat it back to safe quality.

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Hyacinth in Hartebeespoort Dam

Comment from Anthony Duigan, ARMOUR Chairman,  on 50/50 Programme, Created: Jul 24, 2017 

Thank you for the programme last night highlighting the growing crisis in Hartbeespoort Dam from the impact of the water hyacinth stimulated by the ingress of nitrates and phosphates from upstream waste water treatment works.  As noted by the presenter, what we see in the dam is the result of what is not being properly managed in Johannesburg, Mogale, Ekurhuleni and Pretoria.  That, of course, is the dozen or so sewerage works that decant into the various rivers that ultimately flow into the Crocodile River upstream of the Dam.  Unfortunately, the spokesman for the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) simply underlined their inability to do anything constructive to deal with the situation.

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Mogale City: Erge Besoedelings- en Gesondheidsprobleme

Created: 28 July 2017 

Photo supplied by TripAdvisor

The Crocodile River tumbles down a beautiful waterfall into the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, visited and enjoyed by thousands of people every year. Several sewage leaks into the upper reaches of the river have been reported.  As the river ignores municipal boundaries and runs through both Joburg and Mogale municipalities, it complicated matters as to who is responsible for maintenance.  ARMOUR contacted the Sewer Network Manager of  Joburg Water, who provided a contact in Mogale's Wastewater Network department, as well as tasking his own officials with fixing the Joburg leaks. 

With the involvement of the Roodepoort Neighbourhood Watch and local Councillors several leaks have been fixed on both the Mogale and the Joburg side.  A check will be done on the more inaccessible areas of the kloof above the waterfall and Joburg Water has promised to follow up.

Further,  raw sewage has been flowing for months around Pinehaven, the Pinehaven Hospital and not far from Cradlestone Mall and the Silverstar Casino,into the Crocodile/ Limpopo water catchment area through Steynsvlei on its way to Hartebeespoort dam. ARMOUR is currently investigating.

Download report.


Draft Mine Water Management Policy Drawn Up

Department of Water and Sanitation, Issued 10 July 2017

The Draft Mine Water Management Policy has been published in Government Gazette 40965 for comment.The water and sanitation department drew up the draft policy to set down its position on mine water management including acid mine drainage (AMD).The proposed policy also aims to provide measures on protection of water resources from prospective, operational and historical mine activities that have negative impact on water quality.The draft policy focuses on integrated approaches to mining closure, apportionment of liabilities, optimum use of appropriate and cost-effective technology, classification and differentiation of mines, promotion of sustainable mining development, user commitment to sustainable water resource protection, environmental vigilance and continuous improvement, institutional arrangements on infrastructure management/transfer after mine closure and reuse of treated mine water, including AMD.Some of the policy principles include the need for a legislative provision on institutional arrangements of infrastructure management/ transfer post mine closure to ensure proper transfer, the development of a national mine water strategy, the application of the polluter pays principle to mine water in all its forms and strengthening of policy to differentiate between the different categories of mines.The draft policy emphasizes that the mine water problem will not be solved by a single intervention but will require the integrated implementation of a range of measures including considering using treated mine water for operations and/or providing it to municipal networks “which should be led by pragmatic and progressive policies and legislations”.Sabinet Cape Town Office

Environmental Authorisation: Jukskei (Alexandra) Rehabilitation project

Maragela Consulting Engineers,  Issued 30 March 2017

GDARD has granted COJ environmental authorisation for the Jukskei River Rehabilitation Project. In summary the remediation measures proposed at 14 sites across the Jukskei from Atholl to Waterval  on the Modderspruit and Jukskei include :

  • General clean up, litter removal and waste baskets
  • Removal of illegal dumping
  • Alien vegetation removal and replanting indigenous
  • Dredging of silted areas
  • Erosion prevention and Slope stabilisation
  • Removal of unrequired weirs and fishways where these are retained
  • Litter traps at selected places
  • Wetlands at selected places

The Masterplan for the Jukskei, although not fully incorporated in the work at hand, provides a long term objectives and vision.

See COJ Presentation