Chris de Beer, Komatiland Eco-tourism Manager, said that Komatiland is in the process of erecting signs warning people about the health hazards of the water. “SAFCOL Ecotourism has ordered signage that warns people about the polluted water and not to swim or drink – the boards will all be erected at Forest Falls which is used by the public,” Chris said.
“SAFCOL was made aware of the problem two weeks back, and the focus was first to identify the cause, if any, and to secure areas that have a direct impact – an awareness campaign is planned on the issue in conjunction with the SED department of SAFCOL for potentially affected communities.
Contact was made with Mr. S Manqele, Director of Technical Services, Thaba Chweu Municipality, who indicated that two contractors had been recruited to sort out the problem at the sewer this week. Due to concerned community members in Graskop, the sewer system has not been fully operational for more than 8 years.
According to information received, tests have been done a while back and E. coli counts have been found, but not recently, SAFCOL will be conducting their tests over the next few days to determine the impact on the system and how far the problem is stretch,” Chris de Beer continued.
“First, the sewerage system and all pumping stations must be fully repaired by Thaba Chweu Municipality, and it must function 100%. In the meantime, SAFCOL will first have to determine the pollution levels, and then a decision must be made as to what treatment is needed to repair the system and who will be held responsible for it. As the process mentioned is implemented, the awareness campaign will go on as mentioned,” De Beer concluded.