29 March 2021 - NW431
Mokgotho, Ms SM to ask the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Whether she has been informed that the Emfuleni Local Municipality in Gauteng has not been able to fix their dysfunctional sewerage system, resulting in health hazards for the residents of Sharpeville; if not, why not; if so, what engagements has she had with the specified municipality to ensure that the specified problems are fixed?
Yes, I have received a briefing from the Gauteng department of COGTA on the sewer system challenges in the Emfuleni Municipality. The Emfuleni Municipality’s sewerage system has had numerous and continues to have interventions to ensure that it is fully functional. Unfortunately, due to ageing infrastructure, often these interment repairs result in other failures on the system in other areas, leading to the health hazards that are caused by the sewerage spillage.
The Sharpeville area is serviced through the Leeuwkuil Waste-Water Treatment Works. This plant is earmarked for upgrading as part of the Sedibeng Regional Sanitation Scheme. The programme includes all lines and pumpstations that convey sewer to the plant. The Department of Water and Sanitation has allocated R117.1 million under the 2021/22 Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) to the Vaal River System Intervention project to upgrade infrastructure and to address the sewer blockages and pollution of the Vaal River.
The participation of the Provincial and National Departments on these intervention programme has addressed some of the challenges, an example being the completion of the Module 6 Waste-Water Treatment in Sebokeng. Ongoing engagements with the Department Water and Sanitation and various stakeholder such as MISA, DBSA and other such agencies, are currently taking place to address both the short- and long-term intervention plans.
Operational sewer blockages are attended to as-and-when they occur. The Emfuleni Local Municipality has serious constraint with regard to resources however the municipality always attempts to address sewer spillages in order to mitigate health risks and avoid undue inconvenience to its residence.
The existing pumpstation located within Sharpeville was refurbished and repaired in 2018/2019 financial year. The pumpstation is sometimes non-functional due to electrical interruptions and other related operational challenges however, these challenges are attended to by the operational personnel as-and-when required.