Deputy Minister David Mahlobo visits Hartbeespoort Dam to assess progress on dam management

On Thursday, 10th December 2020, the Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister, Mr. David Mahlobo, visited Hartbeespoort Dam to assess progress made on improving dam management and the intervention plan to deal with water hyacinths at the dam.
Following the meeting held at the same venue on 10 October 2020, Deputy Minister Mahlobo returned with the MEC of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism in the North West, Ms. Kenetswe Mosenogi and was also joined by the Acting Mayor of Madibeng Local Municipality, Cllr Ratloi who is the MMC for Infrastructure and Technical Services.
This engagement coordinated by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (DEDET) in the North West Province brought together stakeholders and members of the Hartbeespoort community in a bid to offer solutions to the current challenges being experienced at the dam.
“The Hartbeespoort Dam has a lot of economic opportunities and the ability to host a range of sport and leisure activities, but in its current state those opportunities and activities are severely compromised”, said Mahlobo in his opening statement. He bemoaned the look and feel of the dam owing to the debris and hyacinths visible on the dam surface, and remarked that those who are situated upstream continue to dump waste and discharge untreated effluent in canals that contribute to the current situation at the dam.
“The Acting Executive Mayor can agree with me that Madibeng Local Municipality’s costs for treating water have shot up and water treatment plants are struggling due to the extremely bad quality effluent received”, said Mahlobo as he emphasised the need to manage the dam better.
Mahlobo pointed out that there has to be a sense of urgency in deploying water quality testing tools and technology. The data collected would be compared against all the water users along water canals contributing to the state of the Hartbeespoort Dam, for compliance reasons. “The polluter must pay principle must be applied urgently, as soon as the compliance data can be collected then criminal cases can be opened with the relevant police stations”, the Deputy Minister said to the Provincial Heads of the department in the North West and Gauteng Provinces.
MEC Mosenogi urged officials from both Departments to intensify their compliance inspection as this will assist in identifying those polluting the dam and necessary steps can be taken to remedy the situation. In addition she requested the team to revise their plan and identify a quick wins programme that will create jobs and alleviate poverty within the local community.
The Deputy Minister and the MEC made a commitment to engage Deputy President David Mabuza to seek an intervention similar to the one he made in the Emfuleni matter, and the visit is planned for January 2021.

Source: Government of South Africa