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Mchunu Pledges to Tackle Pollution and Invasive Species in Vaal River

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Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, has declared a committed stance against pollution and the encroachment of invasive alien plants along the Vaal River.

Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, has declared a committed stance against pollution and the encroachment of invasive alien plants along the Vaal River. During a workshop held at the Emerald Resort and Casino in Vanderbijlpark, Mchunu made clear the government’s plan to establish a National Register of Polluters as part of a broader strategy aimed at preserving the country’s water sources and environment.

Minister @Senzo_Mchunu_ : "It is unfortunate and wrong that the DA says @Rand_Water is incompetent. And this "incompetence" they speak about seems to be against the core mandate of the entity, which includes water infrastructure maintenance. This is wrong."
Minister @Senzo_Mchunu_ : “It is unfortunate and wrong that the DA says @Rand_Water is incompetent. And this “incompetence” they speak about seems to be against the core mandate of the entity, which includes water infrastructure maintenance. This is wrong.”

Highlighting the urgency of the matter, Mchunu expressed, “We want those in positions of authority, Mayors, CEOs of companies to have their names in the register so that they account for the neglect that leaves our rivers polluted.” This declaration came amidst discussions and presentations attended by various stakeholders including local mayors, representatives from the Rand Water Board, and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment.

The establishment of a sectoral forum comprising experts has been announced as a measure to urgently address and devise practical solutions for the restoration of the Vaal River System. Mchunu underscored the significance of the Vaal River as a critical resource, stating, “Its health is under threat from various sources, including wastewater discharge and we must collaborate effectively to mitigate these impacts and protect this invaluable resource for future generations.”

The pollution of water sources and environmental degradation have long been issues of concern in South Africa. The Minister’s planned meeting with Mayors of major cities such as Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Mogale City signifies a holistic approach to tackling these challenges across different regions, particularly focusing on Centurion Lake and its tributaries.

Efforts to prevent the spread of alien invasive species have been outlined as part of the intervention strategies. These include raising public awareness, enforcing regulations on the importation and sale of potentially invasive species, and developing early detection and monitoring programmes. Mchunu elaborated on the importance of restoring native vegetation and ecosystems to rebalance the ecological system of the river.

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