David Mahlobo estimates coal mines pollute 90% of water in Highveld
“This is a gross violation of the National Water Act and displays a sheer sense of insensitivity to other water users. Greed for profit has become a norm among the transgressors,” Mahlobo said.Devdiscourse News Desk | Mpumalanga | Updated: 28-08-2019 16:25 IST | Created: 28-08-2019 16:25 IST
The negligence of a disused mine near Siyanqoba settlement in Emalahleni recently has resulted in the death of three youths in two separate incidents. The incidents raised the ire of the local community, who took to the streets demanding government action.
According to Mahlobo, the problem of aging water infrastructure is also a big problem in Mpumalanga.
"Pipes that are made of asbestos cover a distance of 900 km to reticulate water from one area to the other. Invariably, this leads to regular pipe bursts that result in thousands of kilolitres of water going to waste. Infrastructure needs a major overhaul to avert the waste of the precious resource," Mahlobo said.
South Africa is a water-scarce country that was classified by the World Bank as among 30 countries in the world that risk becoming arid unless vigorous water-saving programs are introduced.
The country receives about 450 milliliters of annual rainfall, which is half the average rainfall received in other continents.
However, the department stressed that the figure doesn't mean there aren't water challenges in the province.
"There are still a few regions experiencing acute water shortages. The report puts the latest dam levels in the province at 66.2%, an 11% drop compared to the same period last year. The need to continue using water sparingly remains paramount," the department said.
(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)