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Water pollution lawsuit is ‘war against the state’

Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says mention should have been made of the mines implicated in the pollution.

THERE was evidence of a war against the state, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said yesterday, citing the legal action taken against her for failing to provide clean water to a Mpumalanga town whose dam was polluted, and not against the mines implicated in the pollution.

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) had taken legal action against state entities only, and excluded four Mpumalanga mines implicated in the pollution of a local town dam. The constitution guarantees “sufficient water” supply.

Ms Molewa was speaking after Gauteng North High Court judge Moses Mavundla gave the acting executive mayor of the Gert Sibande municipality, Tunu Agnes Mnisi, and municipal manager DV Ngcobo, 72 hours to provide the 17000 citizens of Carolina, in Mpumalanga, with potable water.

The dam that supplies water to Carolina was polluted with acid mine water in mid-January. Carolina residents said in court papers some of them have had to drink polluted water due to irregular supply.

Source: Buidiness Day

The rise on polluted water is taking its toll on many South Africans, especially those who are financially unable to afford rainwater harvesting systems. The few South Africans, who already harvest rainwater, will always be assured of fresh water supply and may never experience the hardships faced by the poor.


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