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OUR RIVERS IS A COMMUNITY ASSET [Part 1]

We in the Mafube region are particularly privileged to live in a water-rich environment, but pollution of our water sources still remains a serious problem that needs to be actively addressed. One of the most important functions of local government is environmental management which, when carried out properly, can contribute to economic and social regeneration. In the Mafube region it is totally neglected to the point of non-existence, as indicated in the Green Drop report of 2022 where Mafube Local Municipality performed the worst in the entire country. This has a significant negative effect on not only our environment, but more importantly, the health and well-being of our community as well as the economy of our region.



South Africa is a water-scarce country and named the 38th driest country in the world; with a rapidly growing population.

South Africa's rainfall is unpredictable and general periods of drought limit the water resources even further. Years from now, the demand for water may exceed the amount of water available in our country. This means that we need to use and share our water more effectively. The health of the rivers in our country is threatened by the excessive use of the water and the riverbanks. If we pollute the river in one place, we affect the condition of the river for a long distance downstream. A river performs functions such as the ability to cleanse itself best when it is healthy.



Therefore, active and responsible citizenship is encouraged across the spectrum, where people from all walks of life become participants in the promotion of healthy rivers. The relationship between communities and healthy rivers can never be overemphasized as it is community members who must take care of our rivers to ensure that they are not polluted with sewage and litter. Pressure on authorities must be maintained to fulfil their obligations.

Pressure on authorities must be maintained to fulfil their obligations. Mafube Business Forum (MBF) plays a leading role in our area to monitor water quality in our rivers and currently hold the chairpersonship of the Vaal Dam Reservoir Catchment Area Forum (VDRCF), an institution established in terms of the Water Act as official representative body for our region.

Photos: 1) Recent water tests were done on river water in the vicinity of Frankfort. The black color of the water developed over 72 hours after an "aqua screen" test was done on it - discoloration shows the presence of faecal coliforms, which come from sewage. The dots on the round test indicate the presence of specific bacteria. 2) Drifts on the water surface in the river earlier this year.

All meetings of VDRCF are open to public participation. If you want to participate, please contact MBF. 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.

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