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SA Human Rights Commission visit Mafube

On Monday 21 June officials from the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) visited Frankfort for discussions with Mafube Business Forum (MBF) on how to address the ongoing problem of pollution and sewage spillage in the Upper Vaal Catchment area.

The situation is particularly bad in Frankfort and Villiers where Mafube Local Municipality operate wastewater treatment works. Tests have shown the levels of pollution in our rivers to be at unacceptable levels. Several cases, dating back to 2004 had been brought against the municipality, but despite High Court orders to cease unlawful spillage, it continues to this day. Of major concern remain the extremely high levels of E-coli, in the most recent Rand Water test, recorded to be 6279 counts per 100 ml in the Wilge River at Frankfort, where acceptable counts of E.coli in water are less than 10 per 100 ml. The origin of E.coli contamination is largely due to sewage spillage in our rivers due to non- or partially functioning sewage treatment plants. The water quality report is available on MBF's Facebook page. Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) causes diseases acquired through contact with contaminated water and can cause gastrointestinal diseases, skin, ear, ear, respiratory, eye, neurological and wound infections. The most commonly reported symptoms are stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and low-grade fever. E. coli can cause diseases such as meningitis, septicemia, urinary tract and intestinal infections and can be fatal to infants, young children and the elderly.

MBF accompanied the SAHRC officials to a number of sites in and around Frankfort and found a number of broken sewer pipes and illegal dumping along the banks of the Wilge River, which contributes to the already serious situation. The SAHRC will continue with investigations in our region and has the necessary powers, as regulated by the national legislation, to perform its functions, including the power to • investigate and report on the observance of human rights; • take steps and secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated; • carry out research; and • educate. Each year, the Commission must require relevant organs of state to provide the Commission with information on the measures that they have taken towards the realisation of the rights in the Bill of Rights concerning housing, healthcare, food, water, social security, education and the environment.

Photo: Jacques J van Vuuren (MBF) with SAHRC officials Thonko Modise and Violet Masike at MBF Head Office in Frankfort.

Residents, business owners and ratepayers are requested to report to MBF, any incidences of pollution, sewer leakages and illegal dumping. Visit our offices at 18A Church Street during our business hours, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 08:30 to 12:30, or contact Marina on WhatsApp at 079 145 4295. Or send an email to #Water #Wilgerivier #ecoli #Mafube #MafubeBusinessForum #VaalDamReservoirCatchment #WaterQuality #SewageWorks #Sewage #MafubeLocalMunicipality South African Human Rights Commission

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