ANC must wake up to water crisis

ANC must wake up to water crisis.
ANC must wake up to water crisis.
Image: 123RF/Andriy Popov

The Vaal River crisis is looming and would be the biggest environmental catastrophe to hit South Africa. With about 40% of drinking water for South Africans and 60% of economic water support, this system is an integral part of South Africa's water supply.

The current crisis was first raised by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research back in 2008, with their studies pointing to high levels of toxicity caused by the discharge of domestic and industrial waste.

In 2010, the Water Institute of South Africa again rang the warning bells.

But the ANC government has ignored these warning signs.

Raw sewage has been flowing directly into the Vaal due to mismanagement, lack of infrastructure development and lack of maintenance by the Emfuleni and Ngwathe local authorities. The Gauteng government has stepped in but nothing has changed yet.

A water expert believes it could cost R800-billion to R1-trillion to rejuvenate the disastrous water system, this while SA faces a burgeoning debt burden.

The ANC government needs to declare the area a national key point urgently to prevent civil unrest from blocking the improvement and maintenance of the system with the allocation of urgent funds.

A water Armageddon looms and it will fall squarely on the shoulders of the ANC which has ignored this issue for too long.

Busisiwe Langa

Protea Glen, Soweto

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