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SAHRC hopes probe into Vaal River contamination holds govt accountable

The district is facing a crisis as pollution and raw sewage from the community spills into the river.

FILE: Water flows from the Vaal dam on 26 February 2017 after the dam reached 97.8 % capacity following heavy rains across Gauteng. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South Africans Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it hopes an inquiry into the contamination of the Vaal River system will hold government to account.

The district is facing a crisis as pollution and raw sewage from the community spills into the river.

The commission conducted a site visit to the affected areas on Monday.

Just under 40% of the Rietvlei purification plant is working due to aging infrastructure.

The SAHRC’s Buang Jones says the situation has raised further concerns about the quality of water provided to communities in Gauteng.

“We think that a formal inquiry will assist us to ascertain who should be held liable for the conditions that we’ve witnessed.”

The situation in the area has reached crisis level, with sewage even flowing through the cemetery for victims of the Sharpeville Massacre.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)