Good day Mr Ratau
I refer to the petition against the deliberate release of sewage from Joburg Water’s Northern Waste Water Purification Works (Diepsloot) into the Jukskei-Crocodile Rivers since late July. See below and the attachments.
You, in a radio interview on this issue on SABC radio (RSG) the week before last (Thursday October 29), stated:
o You, as a Department, were aware of the situation and had been in discussion with Joburg Water
o You would be able to put out information on what was happening by “next Tuesday” - that was 2 November.
o You would be in touch with the people affected along the river.
This has raised a number of issues among people who have been directly affected by the ongoing pollution of this waterway:
1. What information and when did you put it out? None of us is aware of such information being disseminated
2. Who was this information shared with?
3. Which “people on the river” have you been in touch with and when?
Mr Ratou, this situation is far too serious for undertakings to be made and not fulfilled. People are no longer prepared to put up with irresponsible management and gross neglect of resources such as our waterways. You are well aware of the growing concern about, and details of, the criminal negligence that has led to the mass pollution by sewage of rivers across this region and indeed, South Africa. The situation in the Jukskei-Crocodile is just one result of this negligence and irresponsibility, which is now being singled out by water experts as a far greater threat to the people of SA than the crisis caused by the drought.
We need answers and action NOW - and intend pushing to get both.
You will note that I am copying this email to other members of your Department. This, since this petition has already been sent twice to them, without any acknowledgement. This is the third time. Such a lack of response does not give us the confidence to believe your Department is taking this matter seriously.
We look forward to your timeous response to the three questions raised above.
Chair; Rhenosterspruit nature Conservancy
On behalf of ARMOUR
(Action for Responsible Management of Our Rivers)