Call for a National Register of Polluters

Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, has vowed to tackle the pollution of the environment and water sources as the Vaal River coues to battle with invasive alien plants.

Mchunu said the country needs to have a National Register of Polluters to deal with the pollution of the environment and water sources across South Africa.

He said a National Register of Polluters was necessary to make people account for their transgressions.

‘We want those in positions of authority, Mayors, CEOs of companies to have their names in the register so that they account for the neglect that leaves our rivers polluted,’ he said on Friday.

The Minister was speaking at a workshop held at Emerald Resort and Casino in Vanderbijlpark.

Several stakeholders attended the workshop, including mayors of Mafube, Ngwathe and Metsimaholo Local Municipalities, Rand Water Board Chairperson Ramateu Monyokolo, and representatives from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment.

He announced the establishment of a sec
toral forum of experts to urgently address the situation and devise practical solutions that will ensure that the current state of the Vaal River System becomes a thing of the past.

‘The Vaal River is not just a vital water source. It is a lifeline for our communities, industries and ecosystems.

‘Its health is under threat from various sources, including wastewater discharge and we must collaborate effectively to mitigate these impacts and protect this invaluable resource for future generations,’ the Minister stressed.

The Minister is also expected to hold a meeting with the Mayors of Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Mogale City to look at the state of Centurion Lake and tributaries affecting the state of the lake.

Mchunu believes all spheres of government need to have the upper hand in the resolve to deal with the pollution of water sources and the environment.

He took the time to highlight some of the interventions, including introducing measures to prevent the spread of alien invasive species, ra
ising awareness among the public, and enforcing regulations on the importation and sale of potentially invasive species.

The Minister also spoke about the early detection and development of monitoring programmes to detect invasive species early on and implement rapid response measures to control their spread.

He discussed restoring native vegetation and ecosystems to rehabilitate areas affected by invasive species.

‘This can help to restore the ecological balance of the river and improve its overall health.’

Government will also be working with its agencies, non-governmental organisations, and local communities to develop new and improved methods for controlling invasive species and restoring native habitats.

Source: South African Government News Agency