Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Continuing Investigation into the destruction of the Vosman Wetlands

The Vosman wetlands  is a most beautiful area which runs alongside the very large township of Kwa Guga. This wetland is the place where local farmers  plant small crops and  graze their cattle, where religious group conduct their rituals and where children play after school.

Activists from Kwa Guga including the MYACC have been monitoring this daylight destruction. Currently they are posting their observations on a digital map to make clear who is responsible of what act of destruction.

 The 3 tunnels with the dirty little dam

Three tunnels empty into the wetlands

The municipal purification plant for the past few months was flowing from a pipe which was more visible and currently the flow is coming from a ditch which also goes through to the wetland.

In April  2015 we submitted a letter to the municipality with regard to the contamination of the wetland. They did not reply. We resubmitted  the  letter on the 15th July 2015. This time they phoned us on  the 23rd July 2015 acknowledging receipt of the letter and said we need to explain how the municipality is polluting wetland so that they can act on something tangible.

Poor Municipal Services a Cause

Because of the poor sewage system and refuse collection in Vosman people  dump waste material in the wetlands .One of the residents  said ‘ the sewerage has been flowing for almost 10 years in this street and the municipality was informed but nothing is done and they no longer care what happens because they get no help.

The small farmers also complained that they can’t use the water anymore because of the sewerage and that the sewerage is destroying their crops because of the chemicals in it and their livestock drink the dirty water and eat the waste material when grazing around the area.

The KG Mall

 The KG mall which displays a nice view from the N4 is also polluting with its sewerage waste water that flows from one of their pipes which is pointing straight to the wetland. We approached the management of the mall  and requested the plan of their plumbing so that we can see where their drainage system runs through, But they refused to show us the plans. We were allowed to move around where, to our surprise, we found more than 7 pipes were pointing to the wetlands. Our investigation still continues

There is heavy sewerage flow coming from Emsagweni area next to the mall which flows into the  wetland , that also is polluted by one of the biggest open drain system of the municipality which takes the waste material being dumped by the community and driven by dirty water that runs through it. There is also a small dam created by the dirty water that is slowly flowing to the stream with the waste when the water is flowing.

Costas Fuel Station

 At Costas Fuel Station there is a pipe that spills the oily water into the  wetland.

The whole section of the wetland between KG mall and Emsagweni is full of waste such as plastics, bottles, disposable nappies, raw material and animal skulls from the communities

The Steel Factories

Highveld steel Vanadium / EVRAZ has a pipe that flows oily water through a ditch which flows to a small dam that also flows to the wetland and small particles of acid on the dried soil are visible. The company also has a pump station that connects 2 pipes to their premises.

The Transalloys is not showing any evidence on how they pollute even though their stockpile is polluting through the dust particles which is rusty  white acid particles on the ground. The environmental officer said ‘I can’t say we are 100% clean’, when interviewed. Investigations still continues. Another investigation of the Transvaal Delagoa Bay mine that its acidic water flows to the stream continues.

We are still investigating the oily water from Highveld Steel EVRAZ which flows to the wetland

By: Collen Jolobe, Rudolph Sambo, Thabo Ncube and Susan Moraba