Mail & Guardian report titled “Sewage crisis: Mogale City and the Cradle of human waste” and the FSE’s report

FSE’s Report

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) facilitated the site visits to the Percy Stewart WWTWs, and the upstream and downstream pollution sources within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site on the 16th of February 2024.  

BACKGROUND

  1. The FSE has been in engagement with the Director-General (DG) of the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment regarding the ongoing sewage pollution within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Attached hereto is:
  1. The response by Dr Sean Phillips, the DG of the DWS, dated 22 November 2022 in which he wrote:
  1. The subsequent response by Dr Phillips, dated 23 June 2023 in which he wrote:
  1. The response by Ms Barbara Creecy, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, dated 20 July 2023 in which she wrote:
  1. The correspondence of Mr Grant Walters of the DFFE on the same matter and his response:

Subject: RE: RIVERS OF THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND – STATUS OF THE DFFE’S INVESTIGATIONS?

Dear Mariette,

All the best to you for 2024.

I reached out to the DWS to obtain an update of the investigation.  As soon as I receive a response, I will be better equipped to provide you with an accurate status of the investigation.  However, from the DFFE’s side we supported the investigation by providing all the resources which were required by the DWS to take samples and etc…..  It is also my understanding that DWS issued Directives to the relevant parties which is causing of the situation.  I will revert to you once I’ve received a response from the DWS.

Best Regards

Grant 

  1. The response by Mr C.X. Zwane, the Deputy Director-General: Regulation, Compliance and Enforcement of the DWS, dated 24 January 2024 in which he wrote:
  1. Pursuant to the site visits, the FSE engaged with Ms Anet Muir, the Chief Director: Regulation, Compliance and Enforcement of the DWS for her assistance with the visits of the above areas.  Ms Muir responded as follows:

Dear Ms Liefferink 

Thank you for the progressive feedback – we are busy with the legislative consultation – so my diary is a bit full for February but I will try my best to attend if able -alternatively I will ensure someone else from the team is able to attend.

  1. And, on the 30th of January, 2024, Ms Muir wrote:

Dear Ms Liefferink 

Dear Caroline and Thandi 

Can you please confirm your attendance and participation please.

Dear Dietmar 

Can you possibly attend from the water services management Branch or suggest suitable representative?

Kind Regards

Anet

SITE VISITS: 16 FEBRUARY 2024

  1. The site visits included:
    1. – The overflowing manhole within Munsieville.
    2. – The dysfunctional pump station within Munsieville.
    3. – Entry point of the Blougat River into the Blougat Nature Reserve.
    4. – Delportan Sewage Truck Dump Site.
    5. – The dysfunctional Percy Stewart WWTWS (outside the gate and fence).
    6. – Old low water bridge at Bergland crossing the Blougatspruit.
  1. On the 16th of February, 2024, the following persons participated in the site visit:
  • Ms Esmy Madumo of the Department of Water and Sanitation (North West Provincial Office)
  • Mr Quinton Paulse of Sibanye-Stillwater
  • Mr Bashan Govender of Sibanye-Stillwater
  • Ms Madeleine Horn of Sibanye-Stillwater
  • Prof Richard Miessner of UNISA
  • Prof Anja du Plessis of UNISA
  • Mr Jaco du Toit, the Chairperson the Magaliesburg Catchment Management Forum
  • Ms Caroline Shai: Deputy Director: Compliance Monitoring &. Enforcement, Department of Water and Sanitation
  • Ms Thandi Mopai: Director: Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement, Department of Water and Sanitation
  • Ms Naomi Fourie:  Assistant Director, Department of Water and Sanitation
  • Mr Tyrone Gray: Councillor, Mogale City Local Municipality
  • Mr Loyd Bekuba: Department of Water and Sanitation
  • Mr Louis Haycock: Gelita South Africa
  • Mr Veolen Govender: Gelita, South Africa
  • Mr Mark Trump:  Councillor, Mogale City Local Municipality
  • Mr Timonthy Tladi: Department of Water and Sanitation
  • Mr Martin Lind: Gelita, South Africa
  • Ms Sheree Bega: Mail & Guardian
  • Ms Mariette Liefferink: Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE)
  1. The invitation to the above-mentioned site visits was declined by:
  • Dr Jenny Pheiffer-Coetzee. African Potential (with an apology) 
  • Mr Zwane, the DDG: Regulation Compliance and Enforcement (with an apology) 
  • Mr Gerrie de Bruin of Guvon 
  • Mr Kosie Pansegrouw of Guvon 
  • Mr Minja Milovanovic of African Potential 
  • Mr Charl de Kock of Nedbank (with an apology) 
  • Mr Benji Liebman of Nirox Sculpture Park (with an apology) 
  • Mr Joe Makobe (with an apology) 
  • Mr Francis Fabio of Nedbank 
  • Ms Cebisa Mdekazi of the Cradle Management Authority (with an apology).

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