Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Special Assignment Tour

The tour was started in the morning at the Lui Spruit upstream just before it feeds into the Reit Spruit downstream.  At the banks of the Lui Spruit where the first interview was conducted with cdr.  Samson of the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance eluding more about the water quality impacts from the mining companies that flow through the River stream, whiles we arrived; we found other nearby community residents performing religious ritual next to the river.  A short interview was also conducted with them as well, where having found out that they were actually a family whom had decided to do a prayer ceremony due to reasons of the place being considered as secrete and very quiet to perform such rituals.  The significance of having to find people near by the river banks showed how critical and of importance the water use is relating with the livelihoods of communities.

As we were about to drive out of the Lui Spruit catchment, across the N1 on the left hand side driving south we saw a raw sewer stream running directly into the Reit Spruit River, we then were lucky enough to have bumped into some of the residents whom resides in the farm stead where the Lui Spruit cuts across/?.  The two gentlemen were riding on their horses carrying two buckets each, having stopped them for an interview we found out that it would be their daily routine of them working for their farmstead owner to come all the way to the nearby location being Evaton West just to get clean water.  We heard stories of how demanding water is for these people and that within their farmstead people have to pay to the farm owner on such a service.

The next destination whereby a couple of shots were being taken was only two and half kilometres away from where we left off at the sewer runoff after passing the Sebokeng Waste Water Treatment Care on the Reit Spruit River also on the N1 driveway, there is another sewer runoff which had channelled itself as a wetland flowing into the Reit Spruit River.  This sewer stream is coming directly from the Sebokeng Hostels crossing the Golden High way, and most probably having the newly housing development “Golden Gardens” storm water runoff channelled into this wetland stream flow.  We then drove towards the Loch Vaal just before reaching the Loch Vaal River Dam and having learned that the Waste Water Care Works’ effluent into the Reit Spruit River is partially treated, when the Reit Spruit River eventually reach the Loch Dam, the water quality is already deteriorated of many possible pollutions impacting the Vaal River Reservoir and its entire down stream flow.   This in a nutshell signifies how the activities happening in the upper geographic areas influence the downstream dependants of the natural River resource.

On the River banks of the Loch Vaal River/ Dam having been accompanied by Mr. Thomas Dutiot of the SAVE the Vaal Environment Campaign, we then found another community residents whom were conducting their religious beliefs as the ZCC members, little is our African people knew of how the natural River resource is impacted by urban activities and knowing for the fact that cleanliness is next to Godliness, but in this particular instance ones logic would be sceptical of weather the pride God serving and having to relate the natural water activities worth of religious purposes is predominantly purposeful?

The journey continued with multi shot been conducted at the Vaal Barrage gates allowing the Vaal River stream flow in to Parys [free State region].  One of the most intriguing observations during our shoot we had witnessed was when we had to stop at the Parys Waste Water Care Works, whereby the operation there was not as impressive as expected to be.   The most concerning issue herewith was that of maturation ponds that are somewhat neglected of been treated as they should, and the raw sewer that is decanting into the effluent stream flow towards the Vaal River stream.

In my personal experience the journey had been an informing and most enlightening of how the dynamics of the Vaal River Water Quality constitute, but although having not covered most of the Industries impacts on the River Reservoir, the concern is of how miss informed our general public is about such dynamics also would bring out questions of what are the actual local authorities are doing in terms of governance.  Taking into considerate of the newly amended NWRS2 in point number 12 of the summery final document which states the implementing of NWRS2 and how what are the challenges faced by the Water Sector.  Point of conclusion was to see all responsible persons be as accountable in the whole process as much as to see equitable share in water supply and demand.