Tebogo Msimanga |
The Randfontein Magistrates’ Court fined the Rand West City Local Municipality R10 million for Contravention of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) of which R7 million is suspended for a period of five years on condition that the Municipality is not convicted of further offences in terms of the NEMA.
Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority Spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the RWCLM entered into a plea and sentence agreement with the State, pleading guilty to failure to comply with the provisions of the Water Use License and failing to manage the untreated wastewater from spilling into water resources such as the Elandsvlei Spruit, Third Boat Fountain and Rietspruit River.
Poor operation and maintenance of the Rand Waste Water Treatment Works (RWWTW) plant placed the environment, human and animal life in harms way following the discovery of spillage containing high amounts of E.coli, faecal coliform and suspended solids.
Mjonondwane said Matiam Van Vuuren reported the spillage to the South African Police Service (SAPS) after several complaints lodged by farmers in the RWCLM and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). “Despite interventions from DWS, including financial support to assist the RWCLM refurbish the RWWTW plant so as to remedy the situation, the RWWTW remained unmaintained and without the necessary repairs.”
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Jacqueline Drotsky argued that the sewerage spillage posed an environmental hazard and had detrimental effects on citizens’ health.