Cannot comply with regulations

THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s 2012-13 annual report states: “The municipality inter alia undertakes the following roles and responsibilities with regard to environmental pollution control:

  • “Ensuring hygienic working, living and recreational environments;
  • “Identifying the polluting agents and sources of water, air and soil pollution;
  • “Identifying health hazards and conducting risk assessment and mapping thereof;
  • “Taking the required preventive measures to ensure that the general environment is free from health risks.”

It is very sad to me that every time a water quality report of the Swartkops, Chatty and Baakens rivers comes to the public health standing committee the laboratory results reflect a very high bacteriological presence. It is unacceptable that the E coli count at the Motherwell and Markman canals, Niven bridge as well as at Kelvin Jones Waste Water Treatment Works are in the hundreds and often in the thousands!

It is totally unacceptable that the same municipality whose responsibility it is to keep our environment free from health risks is allegedly pumping sewage straight into the Swartkops River!

In other words, the pollution is self-inflicting.

The Kelvin Jones Waste Water Treatment Works in Uitenhage is in dire need of an upgrade and the 2012-13 annual report shows that only R4.7-million of the budgeted R38.1-million upgrade was actually spent. With only one professional engineer in the whole metro, urgent attention should also be given to appoint more engineers urgently to oversee to our crumbling infrastructure.

At the last public health standing committee meeting the DA requested to the committee that the director: infrastructure and engineering present an action plan at the next meeting to ensure that definite steps were taken to stop the ongoing pollution of our metro’s beautiful rivers. The committee agreed and eagerly waits to hear what action will be put in place. Our residents deserve better!

It is the constitutional right of every person in this metro to live in an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being. When the DA comes into power it will strengthen regulations to protect our natural resources.

DA councillor Brenda Matthee, member of the public health standing committee, NMBM

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