Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mr David Mahlobo met with the newly established Anti-Pollution Task Team to discuss the Terms of Reference for the purpose of providing a framework for functions and responsibilities of the team.
As the month of September marks the Enforcement Month in the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) calendar, the establishment of the Anti- Pollution Task Team (APTT) could not have come at a better time.
This is coupled with the fact that some parts of the public are of the opinion that DWS is not doing enough in dealing with water pollution in the country, the recent incidents of large scale pollution on the water resource systems such as the: Emfuleni pollution; Hartebeespoort Dam; and the continued mining pollution.
Among other duties the DWS Anti-Pollution Task Team is set out to:
- Conduct a nation-wide assessment of the status of water quality.
- Investigate escalating incidents of pollution across the country.
- Improve service for all South Africans, whilst strengthening the protection of the environment and water resources
- Strengthen the compliance, monitoring and enforcement functions to ensure all water users comply with standards as set out in the National Water Act and Regulations.
The Deputy Minister has emphasised that for the Task Team to successfully prosecute, the evidence must be beyond reasonable doubt which is why data monitoring systems must be accurate.
“The water resource must be protected in the sense that it is scarce, and it is finite” said the Deputy Minister.
The Task Team was tasked by the Deputy Minister to finalise the work programme and create mind maps.
“Let us rejuvenate the Department and the water sector through credible leadership and efficient water management systems” concluded Mahlobo.