Cape Times

Joint technical team to report on Knysna water facilities

- STAFF WRITER

WHILE vandalism was noted as a major problem, an extensive report on water facilities in Knysna will be compiled and presented following an inspection by a joint technical team to the area this week.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in the province said in conjunctio­n with provincial government, Knysna municipali­ty and Breede-Olifants Catchment Management Agency (BOCMA), they undertook a technical site visit to assess the water facilities in Knysna, Garden Route on Tuesday and yesterday (Wed).

This was a follow-up to a joint inspection conducted in November last year by DWS, the BOCMA, the Department of Local Government Western Cape (DLG), the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environmen­t (DFFE), and the Provincial Department of Environmen­tal Affairs and Developmen­t Planning (DEADP) which was regulation focused.

During the inspection the teams visited Wastewater Treatment Works, Water Treatment Works, various sewer pump stations and the rivers impacted by poor quality effluent discharge from pump stations.

Engaging stakeholde­rs during the meeting, DWS provincial head Ntombizane­le Bila-Mupariwa said this was a collaborat­ive effort involving different spheres of government aligning with Section 154 of the Constituti­on, which stipulates that the national government and provincial government, by legislativ­e and other means must support and strengthen the capacity of municipali­ties to manage their own affairs, to exercise their powers and to perform their own functions.

In parallel with the technical inspection­s, community engagement, door-to-door visits to Hornlee and Damsedam were intensifie­d to educate and raise awareness about anti-vandalism, water conservati­on, and hygiene. Bila-Mupariwa said her department's role as sector leader is to ensure both drinking water quality and wastewater quality follows SANS guidelines. "Therefore, inspection­s are conducted periodical­ly to ensure standards are met,” said Bila-Mupariwa.

While vandalism was noted as the major problem, an extensive report on the working visit will be compiled and presented to all relevant authoritie­s in due course, the department said.

This comes after the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) this week confirmed it was investigat­ing a complaint relating to Knysna residents allegedly being subjected to drinking contaminat­ed water after a corpse was found in the local reservoir. The corpse was found in the Khayalethu reservoir in November last year.

The Knysna community has been plagued by a number of issues, including a financial crisis which has impacted basic service delivery.

Its council recently approved a diagnostic report and support plan presented to it by the provincial government. The municipali­ty did not respond to questions on the SAHRC investigat­ion by deadline.

 ?? | DON HUNTER ?? THE South African Photograph­er of the Year exhibition at Orms Showroom, 56 Roeland Street in the city centre on April 5 and 6, will showcase shortliste­d and winning photograph­s, including Don Hunter’s ‘Sardine Hunt’, in an opportunit­y to immerse audiences in the beauty of nature and wildlife through the lens of South Africa’s finest photograph­ers.
| DON HUNTER THE South African Photograph­er of the Year exhibition at Orms Showroom, 56 Roeland Street in the city centre on April 5 and 6, will showcase shortliste­d and winning photograph­s, including Don Hunter’s ‘Sardine Hunt’, in an opportunit­y to immerse audiences in the beauty of nature and wildlife through the lens of South Africa’s finest photograph­ers.

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