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Sat Jun 25 07:10:09 CAT 2016

'South Africa's biggest water pollution culprit is Government'

TMG Digital | 29 February, 2016 16:24

Image by: Bruce Gorton

The South African water sector is entering the early phase of a “perfect storm” driven by the convergence of significant drivers over which no individual has any direct control‚ says water expert Professor Anthony Turton.

He says that South Africa is in the middle of an El Nino drought event‚ and yet is releasing an overwhelming amount of untreated or partially treated sewage into our dams and rivers every day. In part‚ this is from the sprawling informal settlements that ring SA's cities.

To put this in context‚ he said‚ there is even more sewage inflow than gold-based Acid Mine Drainage inflow into our surface waters.

“The storm is driven by the transition to a fundamentally water-constrained economy and the infrastructural collapse of sewage management plants‚ amongst others. We are now at a stage where the State is the biggest single polluter of water‚” says Turton.

He will be elaborating on this during a talk at the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.

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