Question NW917 to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

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15 April 2021 - NW917

Profile picture: Mohlala, Ms MR

Mohlala, Ms MR to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

How does her department intend to resolve the issues of raw sewerage and pollution at the eMfuleni Local Municipality?


The pollution of the Vaal River System is a consequence of poor maintenance of sanitation infrastructure by a number of municipalities located along the Vaal River including the Provinces of Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Free State and North West. The Emfuleni Local Municipality (LM) contributes a significant amount to this pollution. The water and sanitation infrastructure challenges in the Emfuleni LM which the provincial and national government interventions are focusing upon are as follows:

a) Operations and Maintenance

b) Refurbishment

c) Upgrade

The Honourable Member will be aware that the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) published its report titled “Final Report of the Gauteng Provincial Inquiry Into the Sewage Problem of the Vaal River” on 17 February 2021. Immediately thereafter we started consultations with the relevant stakeholders in accordance with the Water Services Act.

I have had meetings with my colleague, the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, the Premier of Gauteng and the Gauteng MEC of COGTA as well as the Emfuleni Local Municipality to solicit inputs that will be incorporated into the intervention plan. 

A task team comprising senior officials of the Department of Water and Sanitation, Water and Sanitation Advisory Panels, NRRTT and other technical experts have been established to manage the implementation of the intervention plan.

I shall be approaching Cabinet to brief it on the SAHRC Report and to present the intervention plan for support and approval as soon as the necessary consultations are completed.

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