Carolina’s Drinking Water Declared Safe for Human Consumption
THE WATER in Carolina, Mpumalanga, has been declared safe for human consumption and complies with South African standards, according to Water and Environmental Affairs Minister, Edna Molewa.
Molewa made the announcement following a North Gauteng High Court judgement which found no order against the department after Carolina’s drinking water was found to be contaminated by acid mine water seepage,earlier in 2012. The department has since been working closely with all stakeholders including the Gert Sibande District Municipality, Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality and Inkomati Catchment Management as well as other agencies and parties in an effort to ensure that the supply of safe water is restored.
Welcoming the court judgement, Molewa said that to date, the department has spent over R5 million on various initiatives following the discovery of the water contamination problem. These included the provision of water tanks, tanker services and the Accelerated Community Infrastructure Programme in the Gert Sibande District Municipality to upgrade the water treatment works on behalf of the Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality.
“As soon as the department was notified of the problem in Carolina, our Rapid Response Unit was dispatched to the area to help with efforts to restore water supply in the area, together with the stakeholders, the department established a technical committee, which is still in place to continue to monitor the progress,” Molewa noted.
The municipalities are responsible for ensuring access to water services in their areas of jurisdiction and have been ordered by the court to provide adequate amount of water in a tap in the course of this week. Molewa stressed that mines continued to be held responsible to clean up all point sources of pollution and further warned that they would pay for failing to comply.