On Behalf Of Helen Duigan – VeldTalk
A petition targeting authorities responsible for large-scale pollution of a river is one small step. The real journey is to tackle the systemic failure of management and political will that has resulted in the ongoing pollution of rivers and dams across Gauteng and, indeed, South Africa.
“To this end, we have established ARMOUR (Action for Responsible Management of Our Rivers).” said Anthony Duigan, Chair of Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy. “Its aim is to mobilise people across Gauteng to demand, and ensure, official accountability and action to address one of the most manageable aspects of our water crisis - sewage pollution.”
The lack of strategic planning, loss of skills to “transformation” and poorly-functioning wastewater treatment plants means billions of litres of untreated, or partially treated, sewage are flowing into SA’s rivers and dams every day. “ARMOUR is a campaign to force the authorities to take seriously their responsibility to manage water and sanitation properly, particularly as it affects our waterways and ground water,” added Anthony.
“The drought is now a given and we are forced to deal with it. But it’s recent. The sewage pollution has been with us for years and is getting worse. The Jukskei sewage spills over the past few months are not the first into this river. There have been many over the years. But the recent one is possibly the worst. Add Acid Mine Drainage, the other dangerous pollutant of rivers and groundwater in Gauteng. We have to ask: are the authorities in denial? Or negligent in ignoring the crisis, or downplaying it? We doubt there is, or will be, enough movement to tackle the crisis unless citizens begin to force the issue.”
ARMOUR is now taking wider the petition to hold the authorities accountable. One of the ways is via a digital platform to draw in more people. Change.org is one of the vehicles that will be taking this petition to a greater audience.
From Joburg Water website!
– From a compliance point of view, the treatment facilities continue to perform, exceptionally well (sic), with many receiving a series of accolades and awards.
From City of Joburg website!
– The purifying standards are enforced by the national Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) and are among the highest in the world (sic!)
Not joking. Look it up for yourself.