The National Water and Sanitation Department could soon lay criminal charges against management of the Msukalikwa Local Municipality in Ermelo, Mpumalanga for contravening the National Water Act.
The Mpumalanga High Court division in Middelburg recently found the municipality guilty of polluting water. The court found that the municipality did not properly manage the Ermelo Water Waste Treatment Plant and manholes in the area.
The municipality also does not have the licence required to provide water waste management services. It has been ordered to compile a rehabilitation plan within 30 days.
The department’s spokesperson, Themba Khoza says they will head to court if the municipality does not comply with the court order.
“As we all know, pollution has got negative consequences in the community in terms of the health of the community members and of the environment. If the environment is polluted and especially if it’s ecoli, it’s dangerous to the communities and the environment the department issued a notice of intent that if they don’t respond within the stipulated time the department would take it forward and open criminal cases against the relevant officials in the municipality.”