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AfriForum tested the water of various towns in the Mpumalanga province from August to October 2020 to determine the quality of these town’s drinking water (blue drop status) and sewage water (green drop status).

This project was even more important this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and research that shows that this virus could be traced in sewage systems, meaning that one can identify focus points.

“We could determine that the drinking water in all the towns tested complies with the minimum standards and does not contain harmful bacteria. AfriForum will continuously test the water quality because residents have a constitutional right to clean drinking water,” says Hennie Bekker, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Lowveld

Blue drop results

These results indicate that the drinking water of all the towns of Mpumalanga that were tested, is clean.

AmersfoortPixley Ka Seme LMCleanCleanClean
BadplaasChief Albert Luthuli LMCleanClean
BalfourDipaleseng LMCleanCleanCleanClean
BarbertonMbombela LMCleanCleanClean
BelfastEmakhazeni LMCleanCleanCleanFaecal coliform bacteria and E. coliCleanCleanCleanClean
BethalGovan Mbeki LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
BreytenMsukaligwa LMCleanCleanClean
CarolinaChief Albert Luthuli LMCleanClean
Charl CilliersGovan Mbeki LMCleanCleanCleanClean
ChrissiesmeerMsukaligwa LMCleanCleanClean
DelmasVictor Khanye LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
DullstroomEmakhazeni LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
ErmeloMsukaligwa LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
EvanderGovan Mbeki LMCleanCleanClean
GreylingstadDipaleseng LMCleanCleanClean
HendrinaSteve Tshwete LMCleanClean
KaapsehoopMbombela LMClean
KrielEmalahleni LMCleanCleanCleanClean
LeandraGovan Mbeki LMCleanCleanCleanClean
LydenburgThaba Chweu LMCleanCleanCleanHigh concentration of faecal coliform bacteriaCleanCleanCleanClean
MachadodorpEmakhazeni LM5 cadmiumCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
MiddelburgSteve Tshwete LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
MorgenzonLekwa LMCleanCleanCleanClean
NelspruitLekwa LMCleanCleanCleanClean
OgiesEmalahleni LMClean
Piet RetiefMkhondo LMCleanCleanFaecal coliform bacteria and E. coliCleanCleanCleanClean
Sabie CleanClean
SecundaGovan Mbeki LMCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
StandertonLekwa LMColour exceeds limits, but water not unsafeCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
StoffbergEmalahleni LMClean
SundraVictor Khanye LMCleanCleanClean
TrichardtGovan Mbeki LMCleanClean
VolksrustPixley Ka Seme LMCleanCleanClean
WakkerstroomPixley Ka Seme LMCleanCleanClean
White RiverMbombela LMCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
WitbankeMalahleni LM11 total organic carbonCleanFaecal coliform bacteria and E. coliCleanCleanCleanClean

Green drop results

According to AfriForum’s green drop results 13 sewage treatment plants that were tested do not comply with the prescribed microbiological standards.

AmersfoortPixley ka Seme LMClean
BalfourDipaleseng LM>2 500Clean
BelfastEmakhazeni LM19 000690 0005 200>2 400>5 000CleanClean>1000
BethalGovan Mbeki LM450 000100 00050 000E. coli >1 000>1 000Unable to test (water does not flow through plant)
Charl CilliersGovan Mbeki LMCleanClean
DelmasVictor Khanye LMClean1 500High phosphate contentClean
DullstroomEmakhazeni LM2 000CleanCleanClean>1000
ErmeloMsukaligwa LMClean310 000590 0001 500CleanClean
EvanderGovan Mbeki LM>1 000>10 000
GreylingstadDipaleseng LMCleanClean
KrielEmalahleni LM>1 500
LeandraGovan Mbeki LMClean>10 000
LydenburgThaba Chweu LM1 000 00073 400>1 0001 500Clean>1 000Unable to test (water does not flow through plant)
MachadodorpEmakhazeni LMCleanCleanPhosphates >10>1000
MiddelburgSteve Tshwete LMClean1 500Phosphates >25Clean>10 000
MorgenzonLekwa LM>1 500Clean
NelspruitMbombela LMNitrates>25>1000
Piet RetiefMkhondo LM>1 000>1 000CleanClean
Secunda (Kinross)Govan Mbeki LM2 000CleanClean>1 000>10 000
Secunda(Trichardt)Govan Mbeki LM>1 000
StandertonLekwa LM100 00050 00030 000E. coli >1 000>10 000>10 000
VolksrustPixley ka Seme LMClean
WakkerstroomPixley ka Seme LMClean
White RiverMbombela LMCleanCleanClean
WitbankeMalahleni LM4 000High phosphate content>5 000>10 000

The civil rights organisation voiced its concern over sewage treatment plants in the municipalities that do not comply with the prescribed standards.. “We will further investigate the non-compliance and act where necessary,” says Bronwen Pretorius, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Highveld district.

“AfriForum’s national blue and green drop project focuses on the state of drinking water and sewage treatment plants in towns. This project does not necessarily focus on the condition of the plant itself, but rather on the quality of the water that is supplied after this process as the end product in the form of drinking water and treated sewage water,” concludes Pretorius.

As the custodian of water the Department of Water and Sanitation does not fulfil its obligation to enforce legislation when municipal authorities are the guilty parties. AfriForum requests residents of the Mpumalanga province to give this organisation a mandate to continuously monitor the water quality. SMS “Clean water” to 45350 (R1) and support this action.

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