Chief Alfred Luthuli Muni in dire straits with contaminated water

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Gert Sibande District

Chief Albert Luthuli municipality keeps mum on how they will deal with contaminated water

Masoka Dube

RESIDENTS of Chief Albert Luthuli municipality, Mpumalanga (Badplaas, Carolina), run the risk of contracting serious diseases if government fails to take immediate action on reports that test done in local water sources found high levels of E-coli and visible faecal materials.

Gert Sibande District municipality reportedly did tests on 45 water samples taken from Carolina, Nooitgedacht, Bettysgoed, Ekulindeni, Elukwatini, and Fernie. Out of the 45 samples tested, 23 of them were found with high levels of E-coli and faecal materials.

Health department spokesperson, Dumisani Malamule, distanced his department from the issue and referred all the questions to the municipality. “The department will not comment on the issue of water contamination. We only comment when there are people who died or taken to hospital due to waterborne diseases. I suggest you contact the municipality,” said Malamule.

When contacted for comment, the municipality spokesperson David Nhlabathi did not respond to NewsHorn’s media inquiry sent to him via email.  Nhlabathi also failed to answer his phone.

In 2016 the DA laid charges against the municipality for water pollution and violation of section 151 of the National Water Act.

“The municipality alleges that they procured R12.8 million in 2016 for upgrades of water sources, yet 2018’s test results still indicate reckless long-term contamination. We are particularly worried about this because the municipality does not supply clean water to many areas and residents are reliant on the very same water that is being recklessly polluted,”  said the DA.