Astoundingly, despite a string of High Court orders, Mafube Local Municipality (MLM) continue to spill raw sewerage into the Wilge at Frankfort and the Vaal at Villiers from its dysfunctional waste water treatment works (WWTW). The quarterly water quality report prepared by Rand Water shows unacceptable high levels of e-coli and faecal coliforms. In the case of the Villiers plant, the latter bacteria was found to be more than 1000 times the acceptable level. E-coli levels in the Wilge River measured 3902 counts per 100ml, against an upper acceptable limit of only 10 counts per 100ml.
Threat to humans and the environment
E-coli is particularly nasty; a faecal coliform bacteria that is commonly found in the intestines of animals and humans. Diseases and illnesses that can be contracted in water with high faecal coliform counts include typhoid fever, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, dysentery, and ear infections. Untreated faecal material adds excess organic material to the water which decays, depleting the water of oxygen. This lowered oxygen may kill fish and other aquatic life.
The community demand this to stop
The common excuse used by municipalities is that infrastructure is old and dilapidated. This is very far from the truth, since Mafube’s infrastructure is relatively new – after spending more than R70-million on its refurbishment, Frankfort’s main WWTW was handed over to the municipality in August 2021 and Villiers in September 2020. As identified in a detailed report by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) last year, poor management, theft of equipment and lack of maintenance are to blame. The Status Quo report of National Treasury found lack of accountability and consequence management as the overall reason for continued sewerage spilling into our valuable water sources. Mafube Business Forum (MBF) seek remedy for ensuring compliance by MLM and are prepared to take this matter to the highest possible level which might include criminal charges against those found to be negligent.
The water quality report is shown in the pictures.
MBF invites residents, business owners and taxpayers to visit our offices at 18A Church Street, Frankfort on Mondays to Thursdays from 08h30 to 16h00 and Fridays 08h30 to 12h00. Call or send a WhatsApp message to Marina on 079 145 4295. Visit our website www.mafubebf.org and follow us on Facebook.