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AfriForum tested the water of various towns in the Western Cape from August to October 2020 to determine the quality of this 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 the following areas, Bitterfontein, Darling, Gansbaai, Hermanus, Bellville, Durbanville, Kraaifontein, Strand, Kalbaskraal, Klawer, Kleinmond, Lutzville, Malmesbury, Pearly Beach, Stellenbosch, Gordonsbaai, Vanrhynsdorp, Vredendal, Velddrif, Wellington and Worcester 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 Johardt van Heerden, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Boland region.

Blue drop results

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

Western Cape
BitterfonteinMatzikama LMCleanCleanClean
BredasdorpCape Agulhas LMClean
Cape Town (Bellville)Cape Town MetroCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
Cape Town (Durbanville)Cape Town MetroClean
Cape Town(Gordons Bay)Cape Town MetroClean
Cape Town(Kraaifontein)Cape Town MetroClean
Cape Town(Strand)Cape Town MetroClean
CitrusdalCederberg LMCleanCleanCleanClean
ClanwilliamCederberg LMClean
DarlingSwartland LMClean
GansbaaiOverstrand LMCleanCleanClean
GeorgeGeorge LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
Hermanus (Sandbaai)Overstrand LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
Hessequa (Stilbaai)Hessequa LMCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
KalbaskraalSwartland LMClean
KlawerMatzikama LMCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
KleinmondOverstrand LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
LadismithKannaland LMCleanCleanClean
LutzvilleMatzikama LMCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
MalmesburySwartland LMClean
MontaguLangeberg LMCleanCleanClean
Mossel BayMossel Bay LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanPhosphates >25 ppm[1]CleanClean
NuwerusMatzikama LMCleanCleanClean
OudtshoornOudtshoorn LMCleanCleanCleanClean
Pearly BeachOverstrand LMCleanCleanClean
RobertsonLangeberg LMCleanCleanCleanClean
StellenboschStellenbosch LMCleanCleanCleanClean
VanrhynsdorpMatzikama LMCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
VredendalMatzikama LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
Vredendal SouthMatzikama LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
VelddrifBergrivier LMCleanCleanClean
WellingtonDrakenstein LMCleanCleanCleanClean
WorcesterBreede Valley LMClean
Stellenbosch campus (Maties)CleanCleanCleanCleanClean

Green drop results

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

Table 3: Green drop results for the Western Cape (2013–2020)

Western Cape
BitterfonteinMatzikama LMClean>1 000
BredasdorpCape Agulas LM>1 000
CitrusdalCederberg LMClean
Cape Town(Clifton)Cape Town MetroClean
Cape Town (Scottsdene)Cape Town MetroCleanClean>1 000>1 000>1 000
Cape Town(Kewtown)Cape Town Metro50 000CleanClean
Cape Town (Macassar)Cape Town MetroClean
ClanwilliamCederberg LMClean
DarlingSwartland LMCleanClean
GansbaaiOverstrand LM>3 000CleanClean
GeorgeGeorge LMCleanCleanCleanClean>1 000
HawstonOverstrand LMCleanClean
HermanusOverstrand LM3 600CleanCleanCleanClean
KlawerMatzikama LM2 000Clean>1 500CleanCleanClean
KleinmondOverstrand LMCleanCleanCleanCleanCleanClean
LadismithKannaland LMCleanClean
LutzvilleMatzikama LM1 500Clean>2 000Clean>1 000
MalmesburySwartland LMClean
MontaguLangeberg LMClean
Mossel BayMossel Bay LMClean>2 400CleanCleanClean
NuwerusMatzikama LMCleanClean
OudtshoornOudtshoorn LMClean100 000CleanCleanClean>1 000
RobertsonLangeberg LMCleanCleanClean
StellenboschStellenbosch LMCleanCleanClean
StilbaaiHessequa LMClean>1 000
VanrhynsdorpMatzikama LM1 500Clean>1 500CleanClean
VelddrifBergrivier LMCleanClean
VredendalMatzikama LMCleanClean8 000CleanCleanCleanCleanClean
Vredendal SouthMatzikama LM2 000Clean>1 500CleanClean
WellingtonDrakenstein LMCleanClean>1 000
WorcesterBreede Valley LMClean

The civil rights organisation voiced its concern over sewage treatment plants in the municipalities that do not comply with the prescribed standards, namely Bitterfontein, Scottsdene, George, Lutzville, Oudtshoorn, Stilbaai, Wellington en Bredasdorp . “We will further investigate the non-compliance and act where necessary,” says van Heerden.

“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 van Heerden.

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 Western Cape to give this organisation a mandate to continuously monitor the water quality. SMS “Clean water” to 45265  (R1) and support this action.

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