AfriForum’s legal battle for clean water against Ngwathe Municipality continues

AfriForum’s legal battle against the Ngwathe Municipality for proper water supply to the community and repairing the infrastructure continues. The organisation’s comprehensive court application will soon be heard by the High Court in Bloemfontein.

According to Alta Pretorius, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Mooi River, the upcoming court application is an important fight in the larger battle to ensure proper water for Parys. “This court application, to obtain a structural interdict, was already brought against the municipality as urgent in 2022 so that they could take certain steps to ensure clean water for the community after several water samples showed unacceptably high levels of E.coli present in the drinking water.”

“However, the High Court found that the application was not urgent despite the high E.coli levels. Forcing AfriForum to file a supplementary statement and add the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Department for Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) as parties to the application,” says Pretorius.

“The case will now be heard by the court. AfriForum’s water samples indicated that unacceptably high levels of E.coli was present in the drinking water and the recent positive results of cholera at the entrance to the water treatment plant in Parys, Vredefort and other areas of the Vaal River emphasise the necessity of a court order which will ascertain that the water purification works must be rebuilt and function optimally,” explains Pretorius.

The Ngwathe Municipality and the DWS have repeatedly been informed of the dire state of the water treatment works as well as the raw sewage flowing directly into the Vaal River at several places.

AfriForum has been urging the municipality for more than two years to purchase a generator so that the water can be purified during long power cuts in Parys. The tender was finally issued in April 2023 and closed on 2 May. To date, however, a tender has still not been awarded.

“If there is no urgent intervention by the provincial or national government, this issue in Parys will lead to a disaster that could lead to loss of life. The municipality clearly does not have the will or the ability to solve this water crisis,” concludes Pretorius.

If you want to become a part of this AfriForum branch: Call Schalk Burger on 082 653 4281.

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