SANDF to deploy engineers in Emfuleni to help fix water treatment plants

The SANDF is concluding a memorandum of understanding with the municipality before being deployed.

Picture: @SaveTheVaal/Twitter

PRETORIA – The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has confirmed it is preparing to deploy army engineers to the Emfuleni Local Municipality to help restore capacity to failing water treatment works and stem the flow of raw sewage into the Vaal River.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced during his medium-term budget policy statement that the SANDF would be deployed to the area.

Conservation groups estimate about 150 million litres of raw sewage spills into the river system every day.

The SANDF is concluding a memorandum of understanding with the municipality before being deployed.

Colonel Andries Mahapa says army engineers have been tasked with fixing the problem.

“So the six pump stations are not operational, three wastewater treatment plants are not 100% operational. So, Emfuleni Local Municipality doesn’t have the capacity nor the human resource to sort out the issue.”

The operation is expected to take about 12 months to complete.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)