Probe on water quality in Emalahleni

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nelspruit - The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs is to investigate the quality of water in the Emalahleni Local Municipality.

This follows a number of concerns raised by residents about the quality and colour of water in the area.

MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department in Mpumalanga Norman Mokoena held a meeting on Tuesday with the Mayor of Emalahleni local Municipality, Linah Malatjie and Department of Water and Environmental Affairs to discuss the issue.

During the meeting, it was resolved that immediate action needed to be taken to correct the problems in the area.

The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs was tasked to immediately move into the municipality to investigate the problem and come up with possible measures that can be introduced to deal with the issue.

The department is expected to present a report to the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs department within the next two weeks to determine a way forward.

MEC Mokoena said the department's immediate concern was to ensure that water quality was improved but also to ensure that issues of capacity and institutional arrangements were dealt with.

"I would like to appeal to the community to be patient and work with national, provincial and local government as we deal with this matter.

"The matter is receiving urgent attention and in dealing with this problem we will seek to find a long term solution," Mr Mokoena said.

Speaking at the Drinking Water Quality Conference in Port Elizabeth last week, newly appointed Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Buyelwa Sonjica said although she acknowledged the existing challenges in the water sector, she was confident that her department was up to the challenge.

She said she was willing to work with all stakeholders to ensure the distribution of quality water was achieved and assured South Africans that their drinking water was safe, emphasising there was no need to be anxious.