An estate in Broederstroom has issued a letter of demand to the Madibeng municipality to address the non-functioning sewage treatment plant at the estate, or face arrests.
Eagles Landing has given the municipality seven days to respond to its letter. If there is no response, an urgent application for warrants of arrest will be brought in the high court.
Sewage is currently bubbling up in residents’ homes and property, and continuously flows into the Hartbeespoort Dam. The sewer plant is not operational at all and releases raw sewage into the dam, thereby contravening the National Water Act.
The demand follows a court order in 2017 which ordered Madibeng, the North West MEC of Finance, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs to ensure the fulfilment of the obligations by Madibeng Local Municipality to properly manage and maintain the sewer plant.
During a council meeting that followed in 2017, it was resolved that enough budget should be made available to ensure that there is proper maintenance of the sewer plant.
“Given the current condition of the sewerage plant and waterworks, it is clear that none of the respondents in terms of the court order has acted in terms thereof, meaning that they are in
contempt of court. It is, furthermore, clear that the Madibeng Local Municipality has not acted
in terms of the resolution taken at its own meeting held on 28 February 2017,” the letter to municipal manager at Madibeng states.
According to a recent report by a company that inspected the plant, the only equipment that was functioning at the sewage treatment plant was a temporary pump that is used to recycle some of the raw sewage through the plant. “Since all structures in the sewage works were filled, any incoming raw sewage resulted in an overflow to Hartbeespoort Dam through the drainage channel in the estate,” the report reads.
According to attorney, Corné Myles, who represents the estate, a contractor to Madibeng removed the pumps from the plant, allegedly because of non-payment. “The entire water and sewage treatment plant has been dysfunctional for years,” she said.
“The homeowners in the estate have the expertise and are very capable and able to run the plant themselves which they did very successfully in the past. Madibeng must, however, fix the failing infrastructure and bring the plant up to standard. We reached out to Madibeng and the provincial government to find a solution where beneficial public and private partnerships can be achieved.”
Myles said the estate hopes that Madibeng will respond positively to its letter. “If they don’t, we can have warrants of arrests for contempt of court within a week,”
The letter of demand gives Madibeng until 10 March to take active steps to rectify the situation with an undertaking to meet with representatives of the estate.