The Umzimkulu river. File Picture
The Umzimkulu river. File Picture

Ugu Municipality to create plan to resolve ongoing sewage spills affecting the environment and business

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo Time of article published May 5, 2021

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DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Edtea) has directed the Ugu District Municipality to formulate a remedial plan to address ongoing sewage spillages.

The South Coast municipality has come under fire as raw sewage is flowing into rivers and on to beaches in the area. It has been alleged that raw sewage was floating on the Umzimkulu River last week, affecting business operations in nearby areas. The provincial department confirmed the incident and said that they had been alerted to the spillage on Friday last week.

KZN Edtea spokesperson Bheki Mbanjwa said the department had immediately dispatched a team to investigate.

He said that information received from municipal officials indicated that the sewage spill was a result of theft and vandalism at Pump Station 8.

“Two pumps and an electric box were allegedly stolen and this led to a system malfunction, causing a sewage overflow into the environment and the nearby Umzimkulu River,” said Mbanjwa.

A spillage that took place in February saw the South Coast municipality suspending all activities on its popular beaches for more than four weeks.

This incident saw Edtea MEC Ravi Pillay visiting the area in March, and he directed the municipality to urgently deal with the sewage spills.

Pillay further urged the municipality to provide a detailed report on the matter, within seven days of his visit.

According to Mbanjwa, the municipality submitted a preliminary report to the department as directed, but was instructed to further formulate a remedial plan.

He said that, according to the municipality, sewage had been overflowing from two sewage pump stations in Uvongo. The stations were reportedly not faulty, but the overflow was linked to damage to a pipeline connecting the two pump stations to the waste water treatment works.

Ugu District Municipality spokesperson France Zama said the municipality had a contractor who was working on the main sewage pipeline. He said that the beaches in the area were open to the public, after they had removed the spillage.

“The only thing that we believe is going to address this ongoing matter is the completion of the sewerage plant system that is the currently being constructed,” he said.

THE MERCURY

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