Vaal River gets a fighting chance, National Polluter Registry & Action Plan on the way

A recent workshop in Vanderbijlpark yielded key solutions to tackle pollution plaguing the Vaal River and other waterways in the country.

The Department of Water and Sanitation, led by Minister Senzo Mchunu, is establishing a National Register of Polluters which will hold companies and individuals accountable for environmental transgressions, including those impacting water sources. Holding polluters responsible, including those in positions of authority, will be a key step in deterring future negligence.

A dedicated forum of experts will be formed to tackle the specific challenges of the Vaal River which has been invaded by hyacinth and lettuce as a result of poor quality water emanating from poorly treated or raw sewage discharge in the basin. This group will develop practical solutions to restore the river’s health. Similar forums will be established to address pollution concerns in other critical water systems across South Africa.

Minister Mchunu outlined a five-point plan to combat pollution:

Public awareness campaigns and stricter regulations will aim to stop the spread of invasive species, a major threat to water health.

Monitoring programs will identify pollution issues early, allowing for swift action to control them.

Affected areas will undergo rehabilitation, with a focus on restoring native vegetation and ecosystems, improving the overall health of rivers.

All stakeholders, including government, NGOs, and communities, will work together to develop effective management strategies.

Investment in research will explore new methods for controlling invasive species and restoring habitats.

Deputy Minister David Mahlobo emphasized the need for immediate action. All parties must take responsibility to ensure a healthy future for our water resources. The Department of Water and Sanitation is committed to enforcing regulations fairly and effectively.

This is a positive step towards cleaner water for all South Africans. Stay tuned to Walkerville & Savanna City Times for updates on the National Polluter Registry and the progress of the Vaal River action plan!

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