The Democratic Alliance has reliably learnt that, less than a week after beginning work on the dysfunctional Craddock Waste Water Treatment Works, the contractor appointed by the Chris Hani District Municipality has downed tools.
Last week, while at the site, I noted that a contractor was in the process of commencing with the much-needed work to bring the facility back online.
Unfortunately, I have now been informed that the contractor has downed tools and vacated the site earlier this week.
It is still unclear what the impasse is between the municipality and contractor, but this needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency, as every day that the Waste Water Treatment Works is offline, more raw untreated sewage is flowing into the Fish River.
The discharge of raw sewage into a natural water resource is illegal in terms of the Constitution, the National Environmental Management Act No. 107 of 1998 and the National Water Act No. 36 of 1998.
For this reason I have today written to the Municipal Manager of the Chris Hani District Municipality to inform him that, should work not resume on site by 8am on Monday morning, I will be laying criminal charges against him and the municipality, as well as reporting the municipality to the Human Rights Commission.
I have also written to Minister of Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, informing her of the latest developments.
The Democratic Alliance is committed to fight for a clean and healthy environment so that people are not poisoned by failing infrastructure. This collapsing ANC council, along with the officials, must be held fully accountable.