Massive Civic Water Meeting – Friday, Feb 8


Friday, Feb 8th, 09h30 for 10h00, Cluny Farm Hall, Sun Valley Estates, Kyalami. Issues include: Northern Sewer Works disaster and the rising levels of ecoli and the rising levels of pollution in potable water throughout northern Joburg,



The deepening water problems affecting the City of Johannesburg are developing into a serious crisis.  Please take some time to go through this Shock Sheet and distribute the information.  It is now necessary and vital to the interests of business and residents to become involved and find a way to force compliance by the responsible authorities in order to contain and stabilise the situation, which is, at present, unsustainable.  If mismanagement is allowed to continue the outcome, within a few years, will result in a far bigger crisis than the 2008 electricity restrictions.

The financial position of Johannesburg Water is of great concern. They have been in overdraft throughout the 2011/12 financial year and are unable to accurately bill or collect revenue effectively. Therefore there are insufficient funds to carry out critical work involving maintenance and the upgrading and replacement of failing infrastructure.
Northern Sewage Works.
The Northern Sewage Works has experienced overload (overcapacity) problems for years.  Maintenance and other operational issues have not been effectively dealt with. The rainy season compounds problems. Recently Paul Fairall, the chairman of the Jukskei River Catchment Area Management Forum described the situation at the sewage work as a disaster, “with only two of the digesters at the plant working to handle 430 mega-litres of sewage flow per day”.  
A disastrous discharge of raw untreated sewerage into the Jukskei River from the Northern Sewage Works has severely raised the level of ecoli in the river.  This spill was ongoing for a considerable period. This will not only effect the health of communities living along the river but this water flows into the Hartbeestpoort Dam.  Major irrigation schemes are fed by the dam,  These farms supply produce to vast areas.  Please refer to the attached articles from
“The Star”  and
“The Fourways Review”

The problem was due to two belt presses which were not operational.  A contract to install and commission new belt presses should have been completed by the end of September 2012.
* (This contract was due to be completed by September 2012 )

Comment by Mr. Paul Fairall Chairman of Jukskei River Catchment Area Management Forum
“Failure, by JHB. Water, to do timeous maintenance on existing plant, the lack of capacity upgraded, emergency containment structures, coupled to unsustainable urban drainage systems have led to these ongoing, environmentally destructive, regular spillage in our catchment areas.  Given the stale clichés: ageing infrastructure, budget constraints, lack of capacity no longer fool the Public given the inability to manage and the R Billions being wasted or unaccounted for.  In spite of the Corporate Governance Act enforcement of our Environmental Laws is sadly lacking or in most cases non-existent.”

Comment by Ms. Judith Taylor  Branch co-ordinator EarthLife Africa Joburg.

Gauteng Potable Water threatened by rising levels of pollution

“A number of NGOs, including the Gauteng Water Caucus and the Wetlands Forum, have noticed that levels of pollution in our catchments and rivers have been rising steadily.  The breakdown of numerous waste water treatment plants on frequent occasions adds to this.  Much of the pollution comes from the Witwatersrand Ridge, where the habit of throwing everything down stormwater drains or into rivers is long established.  The Acid Mine Drainage water brings a further highly toxic burden into the mix.

As a result, the treatment of water to potable standards will become a very costly process, mirroring that of electricity.  We will face severe water restrictions as well, as water demand is higher than can be catered for after 2015.

It is therefore time for the entire community to act to ensure that maintenance is done and appropriate solutions put into place.  If you wish to have a presentation on this matter, please contact Judith Taylor on 0823893481 or”

Mr. Paul Fairall is organizing a water and pollution concerns meeting under the auspices of the Jukskei River Catchment Area Forum on Friday, Feb 8th 2013.   Interested parties are advised to urgently table their NGO’s with Mr. Fairall ( so that there is a comprehensive representation on the CMA, as Gazetted by the Minister on 20th July 2012

Contact: Paul Fairall –

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