YELLOWFISH WORKING GROUP - YWG September 2019 newsletter

 Dear YWG supporter,

 Sadly we are short of good news for this month. Sterkfontein still needs another month to warm up sufficiently to get the yellows feeding and if you are fishing the middle Vaal we hope you have good medical aid coverage.

 

The Vaal Crisis by Chris Williams.

Deputy president, David Mabuza, visited the Sebokeng Wastewater Treatment Works. This was to see why the Rand 350 million allocated under the Vaal River Rehabilitation Project had ‘run out’. This money was scheduled to pay the SANDF ‘Vaal Army’ whose sterling work had come to a grinding halt when it was made apparent there were no more funds left from this amount. It was also scheduled to cover the recruitment and training of 250 personnel to work for the VRRP. No action whatsoever. The Emfuleni Local Municipality, largely responsible for the Vaal Crisis, had already stolen an estimated Rand 1 billion. Hawks this month also uncovered the further theft of an additional Rand 150 million.  While the deputy president was treated to a sanitised visit, local concerned residents and SANDF workers made their feelings very clear about the halting of the ‘Vaal Army’s rehabilitation efforts due to no funds. The Deputy President pledged Rand 1.1 billion towards the Project and promised to re-visit the area end September 2019 for an appraisal of progress if any. To date no funding has been forthcoming and the ‘Vaal Army’ remain angrily chomping at the bit at the foul-smelling and toxic Sebokeng works waiting for fulfilment of financial promises to enable further action.

The Vaal Dam levels are currently at only 56.8 per cent as opposed to last year’s mid-September 90 per cent. The Rietspruit (a Vaal tributary entering the Barrage) has a current E.coli count of over a million parts per 100ml when the maximum safe level is 400 parts per 100ml. Interested/affected parties have drawn up a list of signatures in support of the Vaal being declared a ‘Disaster Area’. This will be presented to President Ramaphosa. As FOSAF/YWG we have been advocating this declaration for a few years. The SAVE legal team are finally getting a response to their court application papers from the Government Departments and Local Municipalities targetted.  Prof. Johann Tempelmann and his dedicated North-West University team have a 132-page masterpiece of objective and positive academic research on the Emfuleni Municipality and the latter’s inept and often unethical practices with respect to cleaning up the Vaal River and associated water treatment plants and sewage works. The NWU also mention some possible constructive remedial options – This report may be read by clicking here

The Duzi Disaster

The massive pollution of the Msundizi River by a Pietermaritzburg factory in August was extensively covered by the media. Gordon O’ Brien who has a thorough knowledge of this river has commented on this matter. To read his comments please click here.

Kind regards,

Peter

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