Contaminated by acid mine water

September 24, 2010

THE Gauteng department of agriculture and rural development is set to launch a campaign to teach residents in the province about the perils of acid water.

contaminated acidic dam

The province has been hard hit by the spillage of acid water from old mines, which is collected in dams and the surrounding environment.

Studies have shown that a disaster is waiting to happen if the problem is not sorted out in the next 18 months.

MEC Nandi Mayathula Khoza told Sowetan: “We will start the campaign in the rural areas because people there tend to be the last to get information.”

Mayathula-Khoza said the department was working with national departments in a bid to find a solution to the problem and inform Gauteng residents of where the affected areas are.

“I am part of the inter-ministerial committee that includes Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica, Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor, National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel and Mining Minister Susan Shabangu,” she said.

“Gauteng’s drinking water is safe. People should stop making alarming statements that scare our the public.”

The ministerial committee had appointed a team of scientists to handle the acid problem, she said.

“The government is concerned and committed to finding a long-lasting solution to the problem.”

She said she had recently visited some of the affected areas on the West Rand.

“I appeal to our people not to swim in areas affected by the spillage.

“At the Robinson Lake in Mogale City I saw dead fish floating and I appeal to people not to swim there.”

Mayathula-Khoza suggested that every state department should contribute to solving the acid water problem.

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