A company tasked with cleaning up the Vaal River system says it is difficult to determine the timeframe in which the project will be completed. It says more work needs to be done in terms of assessments.

Ekurhuleni Water-Care Company (ERWAT) has been appointed to take over the project from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

Also read | Sisulu to assess Vaal River clean-up efforts
Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu will on Tuesday visit the Vaal Intervention Project, in Vereeniging.

SANDF’s intervention ended in November 2019. However, ERWAT Managing Director, Tumelo Gopane, says the aging infrastructure of the Vaal River system makes it more difficult to speed up the process.

“Unless you have got inside the networks and understand the extent of the work, it’s virtually impossible to give a firm figure of both cost and timeframes. The next step is we are going to unblock the rest of the tertiary real bulk lines as well as clean up the plants and the pump stations. And once you have opened them, you are able to do more detailed engineering and scientific assessment.”

See map below for some of the most affected areas by pollution on the Vaal River:

Below is a timeline of the Vaal Intervention Project: