NEWS & ANALYSIS

Emfuleni on verge of humanitarian crisis – FF Plus

Jaco Mulder says there are large volumes of raw sewage at various sites and some of it ends up in drainage channels

FF Plus Gauteng draws the line with Emfuleni

8 August 2018

The FF Plus will send a petition to the national Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Dr Zweli Mkhize, as well as the Minister of Waterworks and Sanitation, Mr Gugile Nkwinti, to immediately intervene in the critical situation at the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

The Emfuleni municipal region, which includes Vereeniging, Three Rivers, Vanderbijlpark, Sebokeng and Sharpeville, is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis.

Over time, the poor management by the ANC-controlled Emfuleni city council has led to the collapse of service delivery in the municipal region. The city council is already in arrears with hundreds of millions of rands owed to basic service providers like Eskom and Rand Water and consequently, residents and businesses increasingly have to make do without water and electricity.

There are large volumes of raw sewage at various sites and some of it ends up in drainage channels, in streams and ultimately in the Vaal River because sewage pump stations were not maintained by the city council and as a result, an environmental disaster is now inevitable.

Numerous pleas and demands to the mayor of Emfuleni fell on deaf ears. In May 2018, an FF Plus delegation had an urgent meeting with the Gauteng MEC for COGTA, Mr Uhuru Moiloa, who admitted that Emfuleni’s infrastructure had collapsed, after which the Gauteng Premier placed the municipality under administration in accordance with Section 139 of the South African Constitution.

However, this intervention by the provincial government is obviously not enough as both the mayor and MEC Uhuru Moiloa’s management teams are making very little progress.

Yesterday in the Gauteng Legislature, Mr Philip van Staden, FF Plus MPL, voiced his concern about the fact that Emfuleni’s interests are not being looked after properly after the executive mayor of the city council, Mr Jacob Khawe, resigned to take up his role as the secretary of the ANC in Gauteng.

The same ANC politicians who are responsible for the total collapse of the council are still at the wheel.

Both the Gauteng MEC and the premier have also failed to fulfil their oversight roles by allowing service delivery to deteriorate to this point.

The Gauteng Premier, the MEC for COGTA and the executive mayor of Emfuleni are guilty of violating the Executive Members’ Ethics Act (No. 82 of 1998), which regulates the responsibilities and ethical behaviour of executive public office bearers.

Furthermore, the pollution of the Vaal River is clearly a violation of Section 24 of the South African Constitution, which deals with protecting the environment.

The FF Plus is calling on the residents of Emfuleni to stand on their constitutional rights by supporting this petition and by getting involved in civil initiates that aim to improve the region where they live.

Issued by Jaco Mulder, FF Plus provincial leader: Gauteng, 8 August 2018