Farmer up for un­law­ful wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties

Afro Voice (Northern Cape) - - NEWS - prov­inces@the­newage.co.za

THE depart­ment of wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion (DWS) in the Western Cape has taken a farmer to the Clan­william Re­gional Court fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of un­law­ful wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties.

The farmer is fac­ing five crim­i­nal charges. He ap­peared in court and the case was post­poned to Au­gust 14.

This comes at a pe­riod when the prov­ince is bat­tling the worst drought in decades which has re­sulted in the prov­ince be­ing de­clared a na­tional dis­as­ter by the chair­per­son of the in­ter­min­is­te­rial task team on drought and wa­ter scarcity, the min­is­ter of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs.

The DWS opened a crim­i­nal case against Tier­hoek Bo­erdery in Wild­schut­skraal, Clan­william early this year.

This was af­ter the depart­ment con­ducted the first en­force­ment and mon­i­tor­ing blitz in the West Coast re­gion dur­ing En­force­ment Month in 2017.

En­force­ment Month is cel­e­brated an­nu­ally by the depart­ment dur­ing the month of Novem­ber.

Dur­ing this pe­riod, the DWS, work­ing with Cape Na­ture, the depart­ment of en­vi­ron­men­tal af­fairs de­vel­op­ment and plan­ning, vis­ited a to­tal of 25 prop­er­ties in the re­gion to ver­ify wa­ter use ver­sus wa­ter al­lo­ca­tions af­ter the lo­cal wa­ter user as­so­ci­a­tions and in­di­vid­u­als re­ported sus­pected un­law­ful wa­ter use ac­tiv­i­ties. This trig­gered the depart­ment to act. DWS di­rec­tor for reg­u­la­tion Bon­iswa Hene said dur­ing the blitz pe­riod, the depart­ment and its part­ners un­cov­ered some ac­tiv­i­ties that were against the Na­tional Wa­ter Act 36 of 1998, Dam Safety Reg­u­la­tions and the Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Act 107 of 1998.

The charges in­clude fail­ure to meet the re­quire­ments for is­suance of a li­cence be­fore con­struct­ing a dam with safety risks, fail­ure to pro­duce a li­cence to con­struct a cat­e­gory 2 dam with safety risks be­fore the con­struc­tion of the dam, fail­ure to reg­is­ter and to sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion to reg­is­ter dams with a safety risk within 120 days to the depart­ment of wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion af­ter com­ple­tion of the dam, con­tra­ven­ing of Sec­tion 49A of the Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Act 107 of 1998 by de­vel­op­ing in­fra­struc­ture for the off­stream stor­age of wa­ter in­clud­ing dams and reser­voirs with a com­bined ca­pac­ity of 50 000 cu­bic me­ters and con­tra­ven­ing the act by de­vel­op­ing a dam where the high­est part of the dam wall was 5m higher.

PIC­TURE: ALL AFRICA

TAK­ING AC­TION: A Western Cape farmer has been taken to court for un­law­ful wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties.

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