The inability of the Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) to curb the flow of raw sewage into the Great Fish River has now become a criminal matter.
Today, 10 July 2019, I laid criminal charges against the Municipality and its Acting Municipal Manager, Dr Bhekisisa Mthembu, at the Cradock Police Station. See affidavit attached here.
The charges relate to Section 151 (1) of the National Water Act 36 of 1998, following their continued intentional and wilful contamination and pollution of the Great Fish River. If those implicated are found guilty, they can face either up to 10 years imprisonment, a substantial fine or both.
The Cradock Waste Water Treatment Works, which falls under auspices of the CHDM, is still not operational and raw sewage is still flowing unabated into the Great Fish River. See pictures attached here and here.
On Monday, 8 July 2019, I conducted an oversight inspection at the plant, but was prohibited by security guards from entering the site. It was actually very clear to see that no contractor was active on the premises and that untreated sewage was still flowing out of the plant and into the river.
Yesterday, 9 July 2019, the Municipality confirmed in the media that work at the plant is ongoing and that progress is being made.
This is a blatant lie, as a follow up oversight today revealed that there is still no contractor on site. The Municipality is lying to residents while their health and economic futures are being put at risk.
Access to clean drinking water and sanitation are basic human rights and therefore I have also written to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to immediately intervene in this matter. See letter attached here.
The Democratic Alliance is committed to fight for a clean and healthy environment to ensure people are not poisoned by failing infrastructure. This collapsing ANC council, along with the officials, must be held fully accountable.
Retief Odendaal MPL
EC Midlands Constituency Leader
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