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Day 2 of inquiry into Vaal River pollution, contamination underway

The SAHRC, the Emfuleni Mayor & the Department of Water and Sanitation are expected to weigh in on allegations that vast amounts of raw sewage have been pumped into the river.

FILE: Dead fish causing a terrible stink on the Vaal River. Picture: iWitness/Mark Ongers

JOHANNESBURG - The inquiry into the health of the Vaal River is sitting for the second day in Stonehaven.

The South African Human Rights Commission, the Emfuleni Mayor, and the Department of Water and Sanitation are expected to weigh in on allegations that vast amounts of raw sewage have been pumped into the river.

Vaal residents have described the contamination as a crisis.

The Emfuleni Municipality has told the inquiry it is experiencing the historical challenge of poor maintenance of infrastructure.

The area is in the grips of a disaster as pollution and raw sewage continue to pour into the Vaal River.

Earlier this month residents of Boipatong told Eyewitness News about the treacherous conditions they've been living in which they believe could have contributed to the deaths of several people.

It is alleged approximately 150 megalitres of waste spill into the Vaal River daily and at least three million people depend on water coming from the river.

The department announced that it has provided the municipality with technicians to address issues at the Emfuleni Treatment Plant.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)