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It's rain season. And the SAHRC still has no answers on the Vaal River's sewage

This is despite a massive intervention programme involving the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

FILE: The Vaal River. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Monday demanded answers from government regarding the declining water quality of the Vaal River.

This is despite a massive intervention programme involving the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

Last year, the SANDF was called in to help clean up the Sebokeng Wastewater Treatment Plant as raw sewage polluted the river.

But it cited funding problems earlier this year.

The commission's Buang Jones said a meeting was requested with the Water and Sanitation Department.

“The rainy season is approaching, actions are required on an urgent basis to prevent a sludge. We are concerned that should government delay any further actions that are required to alleviate the situation that this should only escalate the calls involved in remediating the Vaal River.”

The pollution causes several health risks to the community’s environment and animals.

In March, the commission last visited the river and confirmed that the situation was far worse since the intervention programme kicked off.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: 200 SANDF technical team deployed in the Vaal.