ARMOUR      Action for Responsible Management of our Rivers

A Voice for Water
 

News Articles

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