Great start for the Vaal River clean-up project

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The Managing Director of the East Rand Water Care Company (ERWAT), Tumelo Gopane, says steady progress is being made in the Vaal River clean-up project.

A lot of waste water networks in Vereeniging have been cleared, which has resulted in the increase of water flow to waste water treatment plants. Before the sewage systems were unblocked, only 20% of waste water could reach the treatment plants and 80% of it lost to spillage.

The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, visited the Vaal River Intervention Project in Emfuleni, Johannesburg. Her department is working to ensure that spillage in the Vaal River does not happen again.

“It has taken us a long time to get to this point, as we know that the problem of spillage has been going on for an extended period of time. However, I would like to assure the community and the rest of South Africa that government is committed to doing things differently, and to ensure that people live in dignity.” – Lindiwe Sisulu

She appealed to the local community to protect their infrastructure and ensure that there is no vandalism. She also emphasised the importance of all stakeholders in the Vaal River Intervention Project to play their part in order to ensure the success of the project.

The business community has committed itself to working with the project leaders and Vaal community to ensure that the intervention succeeds.

Gopane appealed to communities not to throw foreign objects in the waste water pipelines. He also called on Emfuleni Local Municipality to enforce the existing and updated by-laws, and to educate communities of the gravity of throwing unwanted objects in the sewage system.

A follow up meeting is expected to be held in June, where ERWAT will provide details on the project’s progress.

Did you know…

  • The Vaal River’s proper name is actually the Vaal River Barrage Reservoir.
  • This river is the largest tributary of the Orange River.
  • The Vaal River forms the border between Gauteng, the Freestate, the North West Province and Mpumalanga.
  • The Vaal River is 1120 kilometers long.
  • The name ‘Vaal’ is an Afrikaans word meaning dull, which alludes to the river’s water, especially during flood season.
  • The original name of GautengTransvaal, was derived from the Vaal RiverTransvaal means ‘beyond the Vaal River’.
  • The Vaal River Barrage is owned by Rand Water and the Department of Water Affairs ensures that pristine drinking water is provided from the river to many major Gauteng municipalities.

Stunning photo of the Vaal Dam

Photo Credit: Andre Colyn

Source: SA Government News

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