Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Deputy Minister, Dikeledi Magadzi, has called on communities and business to stop polluting water resources.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that our natural resources remain clean and healthy because water is live and a source of livelihood,” Magadzi said.

Magadzi made the call during an Apies River clean up at Makapanstad in Moretele Local Municipality.

The department collaborated with its entity, Magalies Water, Moretele Local Municipality, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa and the community members who also joined in the clean up of Apies River.

The clean-up was in line with one of the department’s flagship campaigns, Clear Rivers campaign, under the theme “South Africa is a water scarce country, clean up and protect our water resources.”

The annual Clear Rivers campaign takes place in July as part of promoting volunteerism in the celebration of the iconic Statesman, former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July and Mandela Month.

The campaign aims to actively engage communities, as well as promote and create an on-going awareness and education on protecting water resources among communities, municipalities, government departments and industries, including mining and agriculture, which are major sources of water pollution.

Magadzi said the partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa and Magalies Water seeks to, amongst other things; promote clean and healthy rivers especially where Apies River meets with Pienaar River, as there is a lot of effluent coming from upstream.

Magadzi indicated that Hammanskraal is an industrial area, calling on industrial companies operating in the area to stop bringing effluent into rivers and the environment.

During the river clean up, the Deputy Minister expressed concern at the number of baby diapers that were found dumped.

“I counted baby diapers while cleaning near the river and even on trees. These countless diapers have now turned into tree leaves! It is when I reached 32, that I lost track.”

Magadzi warned the communities that the waste being dumped near or in the river affects the environment and natural resources.

She added that through the cleaning of rivers, “our economy can also be cleaned because companies such as Coca-Cola and others can recycle bottles and cans, creating more jobs in the process.”

“With the current climate change, our rivers continue to be infested with invasive alien plants that consume a lot of water, which has a negative impact to our country’s natural resource. In our communities, businesses that pollute our rivers such as toilet hiring companies should stop cleaning their toilets in our rivers and it must come to an end,” the Deputy Minister said.

Moretele Local Municipality Mayor, George Manyike, made a commitment to have an ongoing clean-up campaign or Letsema.

“Ever since water was connected by Magalies Water, more areas in the municipality are now receiving water seven days per week,” Manyike said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

News Reporter