Muzi Chirwa’s “sluggish” district put on spotlight

Part of the four Mpumalanga regions notorious with its communities for having leaders driving state-of-the-art vehicles while the people live in mess will finally answer.


Gert Sibande district mayor Muzi Chirwa’s “sluggish district” is now a subject of talk by a Parliament committee.

Parliament’s committee on sanitation is in the Mpumalanga province on an oversight visit and is now expressing concerns over what it saw in the district.

Muzi Chirwa's "sluggish" district put on spotlight

“The Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation is concerned by the state of Waste Water Treatment Works in the Gert Sibande district municipality that has resulted in hazardous spillages in the streams and rivers in the area,” portfolio committee chairman Mlungisi Johnson said in a statement on Thursday morning this week.

“According to the information received by the committee,” Johnson said, “none of the Waste Water Treatment Works in the district is fully functional”.

Muzi Chirwa's "sluggish" district put on spotlight

“This is despite the growing population and increased demand on the available infrastructure,” he said.

Johnson slammed the municipality and said that it was unacceptable that raw sewer finds its way into the rivers.

Systems of sewage and water in the district are flowing to rivers and dams and have affected the Vaal River, a national river, which starts in the area.

“At the Standerton Waste Water Treatment Works, the malfunction of filters has resulted in untreated water finding its way into the Vaal river system,” Johnson charged.

“The municipality sited the long procurement process as an impediment to dealing with some of the urgent challenges. Furthermore, the rate of implementation of projects is disturbingly slow which must be looked into,” he said.

Muzi Chirwa's "sluggish" district put on spotlight

He said the committee was very shocked to find that a 2 Megalitre plant has not been functional since 2015, owing to “sluggish intervention by all spheres of government in resolving such an environmental risk factor”.

“It is the committee’s considered view that a piecemeal approach will not work in resolving the challenges faced by the district.

“A comprehensive response is necessary to deal with this hazardous challenge and there is no sign [that] planning [is] happening at municipal level [to resolve the issue]”.

013NEWS could not draw comments from Chirwa as his spokesman Lungisizwe Mkhwanazi’s landline went unanswered on Thursday morning and his cellphone off. Chirwa also didn’t answer his phone.

(edited by ZK)

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