Tshwane mayor Randall Williams rolls up sleeves helps to clean up Hennops River
Pretoria - Tshwane executive mayor Randall Williams rolled up his sleeves and helped to clean up the Hennops River in Centurion at the weekend.
Williams and Environment and Agriculture Management MMC Dana Wannenburg joined the Hennops Revival NPO for a clean-up of the river at the Gerhard Street bridge.
The Hennops Revival NPO was established to collaborate with all spheres of government to work with the local community to revive and restore the Hennops River.
It has held a number of clean-up campaigns along its banks.
However, over the past few months the Covid-19 lockdown regulations prevented the NGO from organising clean-up campaigns.
Pollution has been a major environmental threat to the Hennops River, as tons of waste from upstream communities in Ekurhuleni and the City of Joburg has been accumulating along its banks.
At one point an assortment of plastic, polystyrene and foam formed a solid island of trash floating in the river.
A contributing factor to the river’s deterioration has been raw sewage spilling from the waste water treatment works in Olifantsfontein, which over the years has caused the Centurion Lake to become seriously contaminated.
In February the City decided to open the weirs of the Centurion Lake to allow the free flow of water. It also started removing tons of accumulated silt from the lake.
The next strategic priority was to build a litter trap at the weir to capture the waste and ensure it did not pollute the whole river. This plan was, however, abandoned when the provincial government dissolved the municipal council.
Williams said this strategic intervention would be re-initiated so that the City could begin putting in place a sustainable plan to combat the spread of pollution in the river.
“It will also require increased inter-government relations, as the vast majority of the waste is coming from areas south east of the city in Ekurhuleni and Joburg that are not within the Tshwane municipality.”
Williams promised to engage with mayors from both cities so that Tshwane can focus on interventions to minimise the waste at its source.