Question NW3617 to the Minister of Water and Sanitation

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03 December 2018 - NW3617

Profile picture: Dreyer, Ms AM

Dreyer, Ms AM to ask the Minister of Water and Sanitation

(a) What strategy is in place to rehabilitate the (i) Vaal Dam and (ii) Vaal River, (b) what will be the cost of rehabilitation in each case and (c) by what date is the rehabilitation envisaged to be completed in each case?


a) Currently the Department does not have a river rehabilitation programme for the Vaal Dam and the Vaal River; however we have the following programmes that are aimed at managing the quality of water as follows:

  • River ecosystatus monitoring programme to determine the status of the river health with the following objectives:
  • Measure, assess and report on the ecological state of aquatic ecosystems (river health data);
  • Detect and report on spatial and temporal trends;
  • Identify and report on emerging problems regarding aquatic ecosystems;
  • Ensure that reports provide scientifically and managerially relevant information.
  • Six (6) rivers are monitored in the Upper Vaal
  • Six (6) rivers also monitored in the Middle Vaal Water Management Area; namely the Vaal, Renoster, Vals, Vet and Sand Rivers. This monitoring is done on a quarterly basis.
  • Two (2) rivers (Harts and Lower Vaal) are monitored in the Lower Vaal.
  • Surface water monitoring programme to determine the quality of surface water. The programme analyses chemical and microbiological variables. 28 surface monitoring points monitored in the Middle Vaal Water Management Area, of which six (6) points are on the Vaal River mainstream, four (4) on the Renoster River, three (3) on the Vals River, five (5) on the Schoonspruit, five (5) on the Sand and five (5) on the Vet Rivers.
  • Resource Quality Objectives (RQOs) are used to determine compliance.
  • Surface water quality samples taken are analyzed at an internal laboratory which is not accredited, therefore the results cannot be used for prosecution purposes but only for audit purposes.
  • This sampling is taking place twice a year.
  • Water use license authorisation process to ensure that water users comply with the water quality standards.
  • Routine inspections on various water users (agriculture, industries, mines, local government) and implementation of enforcement action to ensure compliance with water use license conditions
  • Infrastructure development, operation and maintenance with the following objectives:
  • Minimise the pollution of water resources;
  • Improve operation and maintenance of the waste water infrastructure;
  • Reduce sewage spillages;
  • Improve the capacity and quality of the waste water infrastructure.

b) Falls away.

c) Falls away.


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