Environmental legal action against the local municipality of Thaba Chweu

Thaba Chweu Local Municipality (TCLM) City Manager Sphiwe Matsi appeared in Lydenburg Circuit Court on Monday, April 11.

Matsi is the accounting officer for the 11 cases of alleged violations of the National Environmental Management Act (Nema) of 2008.

The investigation against TCLM is being carried out by inspectors from Mpumalanga Environmental Affairs and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), also known as the Green and Blue Scorpions.

DA advisers had begun to open criminal charges against TCLM in 2020 at the Lydenburg police station. The investigations were taken over by the Scorpions in 2021 for further investigation. Cases include the Extinction 2 sewage pool and other sewer spills.

Also Read: Conjoined Twins Born at Jane Furse Hospital

On Friday, April 8, the Scorpions released a report on their investigation. DA MP Sonja Boshoff said the report was welcomed by the DA and they were confident that due legal process and justice would prevail.

“TCLM has, in all likelihood, violated all NEMA regulations. For the past eight years, there has been a serious sewer crisis in the local municipality of Thaba Chweu. The current sewage treatment plant is dysfunctional and discharges raw sewage into our freshwater supplies and onto our land. The above poses a serious health risk to the community and those who use the water from our downstream rivers. Residents of Extension 2, in Ward 14, have been exposed over the past 10 years to the most inhumane living conditions to which TCLM has continually turned a blind eye. It is clear that TCLM officials have no idea of ​​the management of the municipality and that there is no management of consequence for those responsible for water and sanitation. Nobody takes responsibility,” Boshoff said.

The case has been adjourned to Monday, June 13. The TCLM and DWS were unable to comment at this time as the matter is still pending. It’s a developing story, and News from Steelburger/Lydenburg will keep its readers informed.