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Water and Sanitation eradicates illegal water use in Bela Bela

24 Nov 2022

Department of Water and Sanitation’s (DWS) Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement directorate accompanied by other departmental officials were at Groot Nyl Oog farm in Bela Bela, Limpopo today, 23 November 2022 to fulfil the departmental mandate.

This was part of the departmental efforts to eradicate unauthorised and illegal water use, and construction of illegal dams. This follows a formal complaint from Limpopo’s Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LDEDET) alerting DWS about existing and ongoing construction of illegal dams amongst other contraventions.

Subsequent to the complaint from LDEDET, DWS conducted an investigation which discovered that the farm owner is contravening the provisions of the National Water Act (NWA) by constructing eight (8) instream embankment dams with spillways and has drilled five (5) boreholes of which only three were equipped to take water from the water resource.

Furthermore, the department established that the constructed dams do not meet the required standard of safety risk in terms of chapter 12 of the National Water Act (NWA).

The property owner Dannie Muller has also contravened section 22 of the National Water Act by engaging in the following activities: taking water from a water source without water use authorisation, storing water without the required water use licence and altering the beds, banks, course or characteristics of a watercourse.

The Department rectified the contraventions by demolition of the embankment dams constructed to ensure flow of water to Doorndraai and Donkerpoort Dams respectively. Illegal boreholes were also sealed on the day.

DWS Limpopo Acting Provincial Head, Ms Cecilia Mashaba indicated that the department issued a notice of intention to issue a directive in terms of Section 53(1) of the NWA, 1998 (Act no. 36 of 1998) dated 30 October 2020 to allow the property owners to make a representation within seven (7) working days upon receipt and no responses were received as per request.

“Another directive dated 03 March 2021 was issued and thus far no response was received by the department. The directive instructed the property owner to provide proof of authorisation for the above-mentioned activities”, acting Limpopo Provincial Head Mashaba said.

In addition, Ms Mashaba reiterated that the persistent ignoring of the directives by the property owner is a serious disregard of the authority of the regulator.

“A number of follow-up inspections were conducted at Groot Nyl Oog farm to monitor the implementation of the issued directives and it was found that non-compliance was still persisting”’ Ms Mashaba emphasised.

The afore-mentioned illegal activities have adverse ramifications towards the availability of water supply for domestic use to residents of Modimolle Mookgophong Local Municipality, and to a greater extent Mogalakwena Local Municipality residents as well. 

For more information, contact:
Sputnik Ratau
Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation
Cell: 082 874 2942

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