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Mabuza says over R1bn needed for Vaal River pollution crisis

Deputy President David Mabuza was responding to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces this afternoon.

Vaal River pollution. Picture: @SaveTheVaal/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President David Mabuza said government needed over R1 billion to solve the pollution crisis in the Vaal River.

Mabuza was responding to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday afternoon.

He's given an assurance that he has been in discussions with the human settlements ministry about the growing pollution problem in the Emfuleni Municipality.

He said the department was also engaging with the office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

“A team has shared a comprehensive plan with clear steps for action and the required resources. It was indicated that R1.1 billion was required to stop the pollution.”

WATCH: Mabuza answers questions in the NCOP

COAL SUPPLIERS

The deputy president is positive about talks between government and coal suppliers aimed at reducing prices.

Eskom is tied into a number of coal contracts that sees it paying inflated prices.

Mabuza said government met with suppliers to try and get them to drop their prices.

“The negotiations are still under way and there are positive signs that they’re going to be lowered.”

However, he said government was not prepared to have workers laid off if coal prices come down.

“Companies are prepared to lower down the cost of coal but obviously, they’re raising a lot of issues that involve labour to say if they reduce the costs, they’ll have to lay off workers, which as government we say no.”