Water News

THE POTENTIAL to create 100 climate jobs and to help : bring a "dead river system" back to life -that's the ration­ale behind a proposed pilot project to heal one of Gau­teng's most heavily polluted river systems, the Tweelopiespruit, which has been con­taminated by more than a century of mining.

'Mine Water can be treated, safe'

Written by Wednesday, 26 July 2017 12:20

SOUTH Africans have to "change their mindsets" that they can't drink acid mine drainage (AMD).

Agencies set up to manage water use flounder Featured

Written by Tuesday, 27 June 2017 09:57

NEARLY 20 years after they were written into South Africa's National Water Act, most of the crucial agencies that have the power to authorise water use are still not functional.

Eastern Basin acid water plant is "sledgehammer"

Written by Thursday, 02 March 2017 12:53

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has used a "sledgehammer" for its R1bn treatment plant for acid mine drainage (AMD) on the Eastern mining basin that could ultimately create more toxic water. 

This is the view of water strategy and consulting mining hydrologist Kym Morton, who believes government is "wasting money" by pumping large volumes of water and adding lime that makes it alkaline but still toxic and hazardous. 

Focus on preventing illness rather than incurring the expense of treatment.

Rand Water tightens the taps in Gauteng

Written by Friday, 21 October 2016 19:07

In the Midvaal suburb where Sipho Mosai lives, the gardens are lush and green because the sprinklers run all day. There's little sense of alarm at the fast-declining water levels in the Vaal water system after which the suburb is named.

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment has objected to the Water Use Licence granted to Sedibelo Platinum Mine within the Moses Kotane Local Municipality, North West Province. 

An extract from the objection follows, and the full document is available to download. 

Water affairs and sanitation minister Nomvula Mokonyane is in the cross-hairs of the Public Protector after delaying South Africa’s Lesotho Highlands Water Project, allegedly to award contracts to a company she has a long-standing relationship with.

This is according to a report by the City Press, noting that the Public Protector will meet with Mokonyane over the issue this week.

The project has been delayed by over a year due to Mokonyane’s direct intervention, the report said, pushing its completion date to 2025, and pushing the price up to R26 billion.

The entire project is being funded by taxpayers.

Senior officials told the City Press that the delay was forced by Mokonyane so that consulting firm, LTE Consulting, could get involved.

According to the City Press’ findings, LTE has been awarded R5 billion worth of contracts in water and sanitation over the past year. It was also found that the company had donated as much as R3.5 million to the ANC in the past two months.

The standard fee for consultation is 10% of the total cost, the paper said, meaning a spot on the water project could net the company as much as R2.6 billion.

Executives from LTE have reportedly been contacting and paying delegates involved with the project, trying to convince them the give them tenders. When told by officials that the company had to bid for tenders, LTE CEO Thulani Majola allegedly said that he was not interested in bidding, and would approach Mokonyane directly.

Subsequently, the bids for a number of tenders – from other companies – were rejected by the department soon thereafter.

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In response to the country's need to take an improved integrated approach to Water Quality Management, the Department of Water and Sanitation has recently initiated a project to revise its current Water Quality Management (WQM) Policies and Strategies.

The Department of Water and Sanitation's existing treatment programme involving pumping acid mine drainage out of the Witwatersrand basin and then partially treating the water by neutralising it will not assist in alleviating the challenge in the long term, says the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) CEO Mariette Liefferink.