Sewage leaks reported to Human Rights Commission
The FF+ has lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission regarding the non-functioning sewage pump stations throughout Kimberley.
THE FF+ has lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) regarding the non-functioning pump stations throughout the city.
FF+ councillor Johan Smit said work was halted again at the Carters Glen pump station in January due to payment discrepancies.
"Raw sewage is running into the veld as a result of leaks around the Petrus Street pump station, Gariep hospital and Hillcrest. The stench of sewage lingers in the air in residential areas including Hadison Park, El Toro Park and Carters Glen.
"Only one pump is working at Gogga pump station out of seven that are supposed to be operational. Another shock is the Homevale wastewater treatment plant where only one section is working."
Smit said he was concerned that leaking sewage may contaminate borehole and groundwater sources as well as drinking water.
"The R31 road was lifted at an astronomical cost instead of fixing the problem at the pump station. The rising water level at Kamfers Dam has affected the flamingo breeding sites and is damaging rail lines between Warrenton and Kimberley and Kimberley and Kathu. The two pumps that drained water into the Vaal River have been removed."
During a special council meeting on Wednesday, DA councillor Chris Whittaker questioned where funding would be sourced to complete the Carters Glen pump station, as funding was reduced by R5 million.
"Due to delays and deadlines missed, grant funding was halted."
The municipal manager, Thapelo Matlala, explained that additional funding was needed.
"A report was submitted to the Department of Water and Sanitation because of variations and water that needed to be pumped. The amount had to be reduced because of delays on the project."
Funding for the project was decreased from R19 million to R14 million.
DA member of Parliament Delmaine Christians said they also requested the SAHRC to visit White City in Roodepan where 26 houses were damaged after being flooded by sewage in 2021.
"Residents were not compensated for the loss of their homes. We hope that the SAHRC will prioritise the completion of this investigation. While undeniably the most badly damaged, White City is not the only area to be affected."
She added that sewage-filled pans that had accumulated in the veld around Kimberley contained unacceptably high E coli levels.
"During a briefing on the select committee on petitions and undertakings, the Department of Water and Sanitation reported that the Homevale and Beaconsfield wastewater treatment plant failed to meet compliance standards for effluent discharge into the environment and that the Gogga and main shaft pump stations were dysfunctional."
Christians said that this was the cause of blocked drains and manholes and sewage spillages.
"Sewage water from the above spillages into Kamfers Dam and Platfontein are submerging rail and road infrastructure.
"If urgent and effective action is not taken, the White City tragedy will soon be replicated across Sol Plaatje Municipality."
Acting SAHRC provincial manager Anthony Wyngaard confirmed that they were investigating the matters.
Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Thoko Riet stated that they were in the process of reinstating operations at Homevale wastewater treatment plant after it was vandalised.
"The new module is fully operational and produces effluent that is compliant to effluent standards," Riet said.
"The Gogga pump station screw pump has been repaired and is now operational. As far as we know there are no issues at Beaconsfield wastewater treatment works," she added.The FF+ has lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission regarding the non-functioning sewage pump stations throughout Kimberley.