I HOPE Kyle Main realises he took a huge risk and that he has put his life in danger by swimming in the polluted Swartkops River on Saturday ("Bay swimmer's Swartkops feat", October 10)! I want to urge residents to obey the "no swimming" signs and not to put their health at risk.
While sewage and toxic waste are still being dumped into the river, our people should refrain from using the river for recreational activities as it is still unknown how really big the extent of the pollution is.
My efforts to make known the water quality test results through the public health standing committee have been unsuccessful. At the meeting held on July 13 the public health director promised me that the results would be forthcoming at the next meeting, but at the meeting of August 28, all that was stated in the quarterly report from April to June was that "the overall results were unsatisfactory. Storm water entering the river at the Motherwell Canal continued to be a source of pollution."
In the meanwhile the Zwartkops Conservancy is also trying through the high court, using the Right to Information Bill, to force the metro to make the results known to the public. As reported in the press the metro did not adhere to the court order and there are another two court orders the metro must adhere to before October 18.
I have also again asked that the results of the last six months be made known at the standing committee meeting to be held on October 23. I urge the acting municipal manager not to embarrass us any further and to see that this time round the metro complies with the high court order!
A blocked sewerage drain in Kleinskool has been dumping raw sewage into the Chatty River for weeks already. The Chatty River empties into the Swartkops River.
A week ago when visiting the site, municipal workers were on the scene and waiting for a truck to arrive, but to date the sewage is still pouring into the river. A resident who lives next to the blocked drain says the stench is unbearable and parents are struggling to keep their children out of the water.
As DA public health councillor, I will do everything within my power to fight for every resident's right to live in an environment that is not harmful for his or her wellbeing.
Brenda Matthee, DA public health councillor, NMBM