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.
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.
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Environmental risk analyst Dr Anthony Turton has vehemently denied claims by independent environmental organisation the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) that tailings extractor Mintails has not complied with the terms of its water-use licence (WUL) and other environmental requirements to the extent that makes it criminally culpable.
Mariette Lierfferink, CEO of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment states that while the Department of Water and Sanitation alleges that the Acid Mine Drainage situation is no longer a reason for concern, the investigation report by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) adduces evidence to the contrary.
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Although acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand basin is the result of a legacy of environmental mismanagement of water resources by mines and lax enforcement of regulations by government, these role-players are working to constructively address this problem, says Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) senior manager Marius Keet.
In Mpumalanga the Escarpment Environmental Protection Group (EEPOG) and the Wonderfontein Community Organisation have applied to the Pretoria High Court for an order to reinstitute the Water Tribunal.
Anglo Gold Ashanti Ltd., Africa's largest producer of the metal, said it spilled toxic waste from a gold-dump treatment unit into a tributary of South Africa's Vaal River.
By Kevin Crowley
‘Fracking threatens our water resources’: This was the topic in the third of WWF and SAfm’s Decisive Debate series.
South Africa’s anti-corruption ombudsman has begun a probe into water pollution allegedly caused by mining companies.
The inquiry by the Public Protector is in its early stages, spokesman Oupa Segalwe said by e-mail.
“The investigation has to do with alleged pollution of water as a result of mining operations in a number of provinces,” Segalwe said.
By Kevin Crowley
A confidential report in the possession of amaBhungane has painted an alarming picture of the threat posed by acid mine drainage to critical water pipelines owned by Africa's largest water utility Rand Water.
By ZWANGA MUKHUTHU
The barrier to efficient water service delivery in South Africa was not of a technological nature but rather related to legal and Constitutional challenges, Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO Dhesigen Naidoo said on Thursday.
BY: LEANDI KOLVER
In terms of Condition 12.9 of the authorised Water Use License “The Licensee shall attend and actively participate in the Wonderfontein/Loopspruit catchment forum to which the Licensee must report and present all aspects of water management as contained in the conditions of this license such as compliance with the licence conditions and progress with all investigations in terms of this license or related studies...”
As Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa unveiled a new multi-million rand acid mine drainage treatment plant yesterday, a few kilometres away of a torrent of untreated toxic water was gushing uncontrollably into an already blighted river system.