Thaba Chweu defies court order

Issued by Sonja Boshoff – MP Member of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP)
10 Mar 2023 in Press Releases

The DA in Thaba Chweu is considering taking legal action against the municipality for flouting court directives.

This comes after last year’s ruling, where the Lydenburg Magistrate’s Court found the municipality guilty of the contravention of environmental laws since 2011.

Amongst their charges was their disposal of waste, which caused significant pollution to the environment, and the unlawful, negligent disposition and distribution of raw, untreated sewage.The court also found that the municipality failed to comply with the conditions stipulated in the water use license, which was issued in terms of Section 28 of the National Water Act.

The municipality was initially fined R10 million, of which half was suspended for five years, on condition that it is not convicted of the same or similar offence within the  suspension period.

The municipality and the state had negotiations which subsequently led to a plea bargain and a sentence agreement, where the municipality pleaded guilty to seven counts relating to the contravention of the National Water Act. 

The DA had hoped that this would serve as a deterrent to the municipality, but unfortunately it is now clear that they are incapable of working towards abiding by the directives of the court order.  We can now reveal that the sewer spillages in Thaba Chweu have continued unabated which is a contravention of the court ruling. 

The municipality had also promised to draw up a plan of action by the end of November 2022. This plan has not been tabled at any council meeting for approval nor have any stakeholders been provided with such. The only reference to a plan is when officials respond to queries by stating that they are working on a plan. 

The DA will once again lay charges against the municipality for not honouring their plea agreement that was entered into between themselves and the court.Furthermore, we will be writing to the Green Scorpions requesting them to assist in opening a case for contravening the National Water Act. 

This town can no longer be held hostage by an uncaring ANC government. We call on the executive mayor, Friddah Nkadimeng and the acting Municipal Manager Peter Mankga to urgently engage with all stakeholders to provide them with an approved plan which encompasses timelines and budgets.