60 days to implement SAHRC recommendations in Emfuleni

The municipality has been faulted for allowing raw sewage to flow into the Vaal River. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

This comes after the SAHRC found that the Vaal River was polluted ‘beyond acceptable standards’.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has announced that the provincial and national government is hard at work to implement some of the recommendations by the Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) at the Emfuleni Municipality.

“We remain committed to working with the SAHRC to implement its recommendations within the next 60 days,” said Makhura.

The SAHRC recently recommended the Emfuleni Municipality be put under national administration following damning findings against municipal officials in their report into the Vaal River sewage crisis.

This was after it found that the Vaal River was polluted “beyond acceptable standards”.

This was due to many kilolitres of untreated sewage entering the Vaal River because of inoperative and dilapidated wastewater treatment plants which have been unable to properly process sewage and other wastewater.

“The Emfuleni municipality, which was placed under partial administration in 2018, continues to experience serious challenges which are negatively affecting its capabilities to provide uninterrupted services to residents,” Makhura said in his speech.

The commission found the running sewage seeping into the Vaal River was caused by Emfuleni’s failure to properly implement its mandate.

ALSO READ: Vaal River polluted ‘beyond acceptable standards’, says SAHRC

Damage to the infrastructure of the Vaal River system and a failure by officials to deliver on their mandates was blamed for the events which led to the environmental crisis.

Makhura said the provincial government was working with the national government and state-owned entities to address various service delivery and governance challenges.

“We welcome the report and recommendations of the SAHRC released on 17 February 2021. The findings confirm the challenges that we have been addressing working with the municipality and the people of Emfuleni.”

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