Water Wednesday: Rand Water responds to Vaal Dam sewage reports

Rand Water released a statement this week responding to recent media reports associating the serious issue of raw sewage in parts of the Vaal River with Rand Water, and further aligning these with the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer’s performance and bonus. They have said that these associations are factually incorrect.

Reports around the Vaal dam sewage disaster escalated in the past week after thousands of fish were reportedly found dead as a result of raw sewage flowing into the river from pump stations in the Emfuleni Municipality on the northern bank of the river.

In 2015, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane announced the ambitious R1bn Sedibeng Regional Sewer Scheme. One of the Scheme’s objectives was to address the “spillage of raw sewage into the Vaal River” and “deliver effective solutions to prevent pollution of strategic national water resources”.

Rand Water is the implementing agent and came under fire this week after Chief Executive Percy Sechemane received incentive bonuses for the past three years of up to 71%. The Department of Water and Sanitation’s remuneration policy limits bonuses to 45%.

Rand Water said in their statement that it is important to understand role segregation between the water sectors in South Africa and clarified their position as appointed by the Department of Water and Sanitation.

The Department said a number of issues surrounding the non-performance of Sebokeng Regional Sewer Scheme are being looked into and proper planning towards their resolution is being put in place.

Meanwhile, in the Free State, parliament’s Standing Committee on Appropriation is conducting an oversight inspection in areas within the Mangaung and Setsoto municipalities for inadequate sanitation and lack of water supply.

This after South African Human Rights Commission in the Free State said the most violated human rights in the province remains the right to water and sanitation. This has affected residents in Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu, Senekal and Clocolan who still use bucket toilets and struggle to access water.

Here is your weekly dam update:

  • The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is at 99.4%.
  • The Cape Town Dams System consisting of six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week is at 52.5%.
  • The KwaZulu-Natal Dam System is at 62.9% this week while Eastern Cape Dam System sits at 61.5%.

 

Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:

For a more in-depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.

 

  AUTHOR
Caxton Central

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