Teamwork is needed, not water conspiracy theories: iLIVE
It's interesting that the so-called activists in Carolina were prepared to accept our lab results - and use them in their court papers - when they showed that the water was contaminated ("Activists don't trust the minister on safety of water", July 11).
Now that more recent results from the laboratory show the water is fit for human consumption, the minister cannot be trusted.
Here are the indisputable facts. The minister made recommendations to the municipality to declare the drinking water as safe for human consumption. The water would be treated to ensure that:
- Acidity was neutralised to acceptable levels (from pH 3.9 to 9.3); and
- Sulphates, iron, manganese and aluminium levels were reduced to meet the national standard.
In addition, the South African National Standard was reviewed to comply with the recommended guidelines of the World Health Organisation. It is globally accepted that surface resource water, such as rivers and streams, will not comply with these standards and will require effective treatment.
Over the past few months, the department has worked hard to make Carolina's water safer. It was only after three sets of consecutive results complied with the required standard that the department recommended that the water be declared safe for drinking.
The department, however, concurs that resource water will contain contaminants to varying degrees and acknowledges that acid mine drainage has a detrimental effect on quality. This is a huge and complex challenge many of our scientists and units are working on to ensure that the best possible treatment barriers are set in place. What is needed now is not grandstanding but teamwork. The least we can ask for from the sceptics in the activists' corner is to adhere to the court ruling that enjoins everyone to work together for Mpumalanga's benefit.