South Africa 11.1.2017 04:33 pm

DA lays charges against Ugu municipality over ‘poisonous water’

Supporters of the Democratic Alliance picket outside the SABC, 3 October 2016, in Auckland Park, following the SABC's disdain for a judgement of a court of law and the Public Protector. Picture: Michel Bega

Supporters of the Democratic Alliance picket outside the SABC, 3 October 2016, in Auckland Park, following the SABC's disdain for a judgement of a court of law and the Public Protector. Picture: Michel Bega

This comes after the DA reported a problem of contaminated water to Ugu District in December.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday said it had laid a complaint with the police related to the supply of “poisonous water” against Ugu District Municipality.

“The charges were laid in terms of the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) section 151 (1)(i); which states that no person may unlawfully & intentionally or negligently commit any act or omission which pollutes or is likely to pollute a water resource,” said DA councillor George Henderson.

He said the charges were laid at Margate Police Station.

Constable J. Singh who was on duty at the station on Wednesday afternoon confirmed the DA had laid a complaint.

“Yes the charges were laid about poisonous water, and the investigators are still going to look at the matter,” the constable said on the telephone.

The move to lay a complaint with the police comes after the DA reported the problem of contaminated water to Ugu District on December 20, 2016.

Henderson said a team of environmentalists, including officials of the provincial department of health, took samples and searched the entire area for signs of spillage, but none was found.

Henderson said Ugu has continuously stated that inspection of their facilities and pipelines show no sewerage over spill into the Uvongo River.

“Instead, they pushed the possibility of illegal dumping from chemical toilets or leaks from private properties,” claimed Henderson.

He said the DA decided to do its own on-site inspection last week. Within an hour devastating evidence was found, which borders on criminal neglect from Ugu’s side.

“The constant overflow and spillage of raw sewage into a tributary of the Uvongo River from the temporary sewage facility arrangement at the new Masinenge Housing Project serving 26 families and a constant overflow and spillage of raw sewage opposite the Uvongo Bowling Club flowing down the street into a stormwater drain discharging directly into the Uvongo River,” claimed Henderson.

“Ugu has been caught with its pants down, deliberately lying to and misleading the public. The DA discovered these sewer spillages at Ugu facilities or pipes.

“This is despite Ugu’s earlier statements that they found nothing during their search of the area and their installations. It is evident that Ugu did not undertake an extensive search.”

Henderson said the DA had no option but to lay criminal charges against the municipality.

“The Democratic Alliance takes the health of our communities and environment very seriously. We will not allow our communities to suffer by the criminal neglect of the Ugu District,” said Henderson.

The municipality did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.

– African News Agency

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