Vaal Blog (South Africa)

Community Alerts/Mduduzi Tshabalala/Vaal-VEJA/17 February 2017


VEJA Water Quality Team is continuing its campaign of monitoring the RietSpruit River and together with the community of Evaton, Traditional Healers and Religious Groups, there will be water quality capacity workshops on water legislations, water quality testing and monitoring training to be happening soon.

By far since VEJA Water Quality Team has been participating in the RietSpruit Catchment Management Forum (CMF) and other CMF’s , the lack of progress to see Forums transform the participation by bringing in Traditional Healers and Spiritual Water Users as recognised water users, the lack of holding polluters accountable for every quarterly seating we learn of continuous exceedences, while the Department of Water and Sanitation won’t hold nobody accountable.  On the 7th February ’17 the first 2017 RietSpruit Catchment Management Forum meeting sat and a presentation was made by Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, about the state of the RietSpruit river, further in their report it is recommended that users are warned not to be using the river either for domestic and aquatic sports use, and that the river is heavily polluted.

VEJA is advocating with concerns of impacted users who are excluded from the processes of water governance.

Community Alerts/ Rhona Reit/ VEJA-Vaal/ 19 December 2016


Veja and Wonim had a fun walk a joint venture with Mpumalang, Lephalale, KZN, East Rand, Vaal, Sasolburg.From Sasolburg to Zamdela on the 13th December 2016.Women had enough of Environmental Injustice in South Africa, and the fun walk was to raise awareness on climate change and Energy.

-Women were saying we can’t grow anything lately we survive with farming in rural areas.

-Our water is contaminated and we can’t afford bottled water.

-The air pollution is killing our families and live stocks.

-We walk km to fetch wood and water as we can’t afford electricity, and our rivers are contaminated

– We want Climate Justice now we want to be recognized as affected women we want to see change.

We want to these mining companies, Industries out of country we live with tears and fear

We can’t get jobs in our own home town

Economy Growth for who?

We want change enough is enough we want women to be vocal and brave to say NO!


The constitution of the Republic of South Africa says: Section 24.

Everyone has right-

(a) To an environment that is not harmful to their health or well being; and

(b) To have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that-

(i) Prevent pollution and ecological degradation;

(ii) Promote conservation; and

(iii) Secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources.walk to

Community Alerts/ VEJA- Vaal monitor/ 12 and 15 December 2016Good day.


Ishan Tharoke from USA, programme called Ful-brigth National Geographic Digital Story telling. He is in South Africa for six month Reason why. South Africa has Large Scale of water Infrastructure project like our dams and rivers. We will tour around Vaal Interviewing different Water uses like our Traditional Healers.

15 December 2016

This week, VEJA had a visit from Ishan Tharoke from the USA, a national geographic fellowship blogger, covering the story about the South African Water Resources.During the tour we stopped at Gogo Tshupane (a Traditional Health Practitioner) home in Sebokeng zone 14, joined by Gogo Dlozini, where we learned about their practice and how it relates with water, the importance of protecting the indigenous cultures and our rivers and small streams.

We later went to see Mr. Johan Dewing, a Steel Valley resident who suffered continuous pollution at his farm, and directly from Arcelor Mittal Vanderbjlpark Works. We then went to see how the RietSpruit River is impacted by one of the streams in Evaton.

Community Alert/ Rhona Riet/ Vaal-Gauteng/ 19 November 2016


This is Thembalethu flats in Zamdela, Sasolburg. The manhole is not covered as it’s a danger zone and situated just near the entrance, it ends up becoming very dangerous during rainy days and at night for people who late walk and more especially drunken youth. In Zamdela we have a lot of abandoned manholes and illegal dumping site, where at most people find solutions to rather dump solid waste inside these abandoned manholes, as this had now become a societal norm, and the smell coming from these dumped manholes turns horrible when it’s sunny and may lead to different illnesses.

Community alert/ Sthuntsha Mokoena / Vaal/25 November 2016


Sebokeng Works is a facility for sewerage collection, the system function to remove waste water from its origin point to a treatment facility. The facility is currently being upgraded to a tertiary facility. For the past 8 month people are experiencing terrible smell, then we interviewed one lady Miss Makgale from Zone 24 (ward 27)”Our children are suffering from the smell. Sometimes they vomit and are nosier” she said.

This smell reaches Zone 11,12,13,14,16 as far as Zone 7 and Zone 10 also.  On the 08th November 2016, I attended Riut Spruit Forum and Mr George, from Sebokeng Works Manager said “somebody had trespassed the facility and light the veldfire, that fire caught up with our dry beds lagoons, once the lagoons started burning they never stopped, even as we speak they are still burning and this is the reason why we are having this terrible smell”, He said.


Community Alert/Moleboheng/ Vaal/ 10 November 2016



The Floods in Jo’burg left families homeless. This afternoon I was caught up in Joburg CDB when I was on my way home to Sasolburg, Free State when we came across this car stuck in water, the driver tried so hard to take it out but the flowing of rain water was too heavy for the driver.  When I got home where I found my family watching the news, which is when i also learned that people around the City of Tshwane were left homeless because of the heavy rain.  We said we needed the rain, but now it is taking our children’s lives.

Community Alerts/ Victoria- Vaal- Gauteng/ 22 October 2016


On the 22nd of October 2016, i was running for my life on my way home from school, the picture above depict the way Sasolburg looked like, it was an absolutely scary weather condition,  I was very scared I didn’t know what was going to happen at that moment or the next moment. I’ve never seen such in my life. Luckily I arrived save home and we only got a lot of rain instead even though it looked like a tornado. Sasolburg is a highly polluted area, the industries in the area contributes negatively to the environment.

Community Alerts/ Rhona Riet-Vaal-Gauteng/21 October 2016


On the 13th of October 2016, I participated a workshop at Fezile Dabi offices in Sasolburg; sadly enough Free State is drying up by the day. Here are facts and realities which I learned from the workshop which I attended.

Climate feather in SA

Wammer(<3°C above 1961-2000),wetter,greater frequency of  extreme rainfall event.


Hotter (<3°C above 1961-2000)wetter hotter substantially greater frequency of extreme rainfall events.


Wammer Drier

Wammer (<3°C above),drier, increase in frequency of extreme rainfall events.


Hotter Drier

Hotter(<3°C above 1961-2000),drier,sub sequential increase in n the frequency of drought events, greater frequency of extreme rainfall events.



Our grains are moving to the east as we leaking rain.


Medium Risk  Senior Biomes Change.

It’s serve our Metsimaholo is going to become a Bush felt.


Threatens Ecosystem.

Certain spices are vulnerable Fezile Dabi district is Endangered.


Green Drop Score

Metsimaholo WSA green drop 3, 61.70%.


Blue Drop Cause

Metsimaholo 84, 49%.

Community Alerts/David/Vaal- Gauteng Province/11 October 2016.


These two schools share a very rich history of Vaal in sport and politics but again sharing a big problem, between the two schools exist an illegal dumping site.  Very harmfully and it smells very bad. One teacher said” you can’t have peaceful lunch because of the smell when it is windy. The smell kills us almost every day. We all know that Arcelor mittal and his friends they are big polluters. How can a normal person take rubbish dump next to a school gate? This is why I realize that we should practice the sections 24(a) of bill of rights and we need environment that is protected by us before someone can do it for ourselves” she said.

In this regard, we challenged the local municipality to take responsibility in this matter, and people should be reminded that illegal dumping is a crime.  We need an environment that is not harmful to anyone and people need to understand that in our communities. Let’s change how people think” said the frustrated educator.

Community Alerts/ Rhona Riet/Gauteng- Vaal/ 19 October 2016img-20161020-wa0002


This manhole which is situated next to Reahola Refengkhotso Educare could be a danger; it has been left wide open for too long. The life’s of the children in particular are at risk. Nobody is taking any remedial actions to the problem.  A life could be lost and such has happened in other communities before, our municipality is negligent is most cases and only act when is too late. The kids are exposed to this kind of risks which can be avoided, I strongly challenge the municipalities in South Africa to regularly check out their properties and deal decisively with risk factors with a view of saving the life’s of the kids and especially young boys.