Mafube Business Forum (MBF) reported in the Frankfort Herald of 18 February, that the Supreme Court in Bloemfontein on 29 July 2021, ordered Mafube Local Municipality (Mafube) to take steps that are part of the standard operating procedures at sewage plants - see list at end of article.
Mafube did not fully comply with the order and wanted to appeal against it, despite damning evidence. Mafube's application for leave to appeal was heard on February 4, 2022, but this was by Judge Opperman on February 28.
A costs order was lodged against the municipality, the municipal manager, the administrator and the Minister of Housing, Water and Sanitation.
Mnr. Josie Ralebenya, the Municipal Manager, can be held liable in his personal capacity as he did not have the necessary authority to appeal.
The way has now been paved for more drastic action against the municipal manager, if the original order is not complied with.
Contempt of such a Supreme Court order can lead to a criminal prosecution and up to a 90 day prison sentence.
The extent to which Mr. Moses Moremi can be held accountable is still vague since his status as administrator is not clear.
Unfortunately, it looks like the taxpayer will have to pay up again. This is money that could have been used for repairs or upgrades, and would probably have been enough to permanently solve the sewage problem.
Steps ordered by the High Court:
Perform effective management and maintenance at the sewage plant;
perform all necessary repairs;
conduct inspections on a regular basis;
act immediately if a crisis arises;
take steps to prevent pollution and sewage spills;
make samples of effluent available on request;
submit a progress report every 2 weeks; and
make regular payments to Eskom, to ensure that the sewage plant is in full operation.
MBF appeals to the Mafube community not to ignore sewage spills and broken infrastructure - this must be reported. Visit www.mafubebf.org
Visit our offices at 18A Church Street during our business hours, on Mondays to Thursdays from 08h30 to 16h00 and Fridays from 08h30 to 12h30, or contact Marina on WhatsApp at 079 145 4295. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org