DA lays charges over poisonous water in Ugu District

Party discovers sewer spillages at facilities or pipes despite Ugu's earlier statements that Ugu found nothing

DA lays charges over poisonous water in Ugu District

The DA has laid criminal charges against Ugu District Municipality at the Margate Police Station. 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.

This is after the DA reported the problem of contaminated water to Ugu District on 20 December 2016. According to them, a team of environmentalists, including officials of the Provincial Department of Health, took samples and searched the entire area for signs of spillage. None was found.

Ugu has continuously stated that inspection of their facilities and pipelines show no sewerage overspill into the Uvongo River. Instead, they pushed the possibility of illegal dumping from chemical toilets or leaks from private properties.

The Democratic Alliance decided to do its own on-site inspection last week. Within an hour, the following not only shocking but 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.

- 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.

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.

The DA therefore had no option but to lay criminal charges against them.

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.

Issued by George Henderson, RNM ward 19 and Ugu Councillor, 11 January 2017