And not a drop to drink

Officials are so worried about radioactive poisons in the Wonderfonteinspruit that farmers have been barred from using its water for agriculture.

Officials are so worried about radioactive poisons in the Wonderfonteinspruit that farmers have been barred from using its water for agriculture.

That's a brave step by our tardy bureaucrats, who generally wouldn't say boo to a goose lest they offend the minelords.

But what about the hundreds of thousands of people who live along the watercourse between Mogale City and Potchefstroom?

For the past 40 years officials have known about the lethal threat posed by the radioactive sludge and toxic chemicals the mines spew into our waterways.

Recent scientific investigations reconfirmed the dangers, especially to the young, the old and those with compromised immune systems. The threat is imminent and real.

The bureaucrats say they are concerned about causing panic. We suspect they fear the financial implications.

Tough. They have a moral and legal obligation to warn everyone - especially the poorest of the poor who have settled alongside the stream.

These people depend on Wonderfonteinspruit for the water they drink and in which they bathe and play. And which they use to raise the odd animal and crops.

If the water is too dangerous for formal agriculture, what about humans?

We demand an immediate epidemiological study of the health effects on humans.

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