WATCH | Raw sewage dumped into dam providing clean water in Eastern Cape
A private company is under police investigation after a "honey sucker" truck was caught dumping raw sewage into the Mthatha Dam, which provides clean water to hundreds of thousands of residents in Mthatha, Libode and Tsolo.
The shocking incident, which went viral on social media platforms, has enraged authorities and residents.
The company has been identified but DispatchLIVE was unable to get comment on Sunday.
While there were fears that the sewage would compromise people’s health, OR Tambo municipal manager Owen Hlazo allayed fears, saying it would have little impact as it would have been diluted in the dam.
While the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) municipality confirmed that the company had been fined R2,000, the Mthatha Ratepayers' and Residents’ Association (MRRA) said the punishment was insufficient and called for criminal charges to be laid against the company.
On Friday, during her first state of the district address, OR Tambo district municipality mayor Thokozile Sokanyile labelled the incident an embarrassment.
On Sunday, water and sanitation national spokesperson Sputnik Ratau confirmed the department had opened two cases of pollution with the police.
One charge related to the dumping of raw sewage in the Mthatha Dam, while another related to a similar case in Cradock.
“Because there were number plates, it was easier to identify the culprit at the Mthatha Dam. We will keep an eye on the legal proceedings. It’s really an attack on the people of this country.
“Somebody will drink that water but it is also an attack on the environment itself. It’s just unacceptable,” Ratau said.