Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA)’s Water Quality Team is continuing its campaign of monitoring the Rietspruit River and together with the community of Evaton and traditional healers and religious groups, there will be capacity workshops on water legislations, water quality testing, and monitoring and training.
Since VEJA Water Quality Team has been participating in the Rietspruit Catchment Management Forum (CMF) and other CMFs, there has been little progress towards the transformation of the Forum. Traditional healers and spiritual water users have not been recognised as water users, and polluters are not held accountable. In every quarterly seating we learn of numerous accidents, and the Department of Water and Sanitation won’t hold anybody accountable.
On 7 February this year, the first Rietspruit Catchment Management Forum meeting for 2017 sat and a presentation was made by Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development about the state of the Rietspruit River. Furthermore, in their report it is recommended that users not use the river for domestic or aquatic sports use, and that the river is heavily polluted.
This article was first published and appeared on www.CommunityMonitors.net, on 3 March 2017.