|2012 07 04 Judgment reserved in Mpumalanga residents’ urgent application|
Judgment has been reserved in an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court by residents of Carolina, Mpumalanga. They are demanding the constitutionally-guaranteed access to clean drinking water. The supply dam in Carolina has been contaminated by acid mine seepage.
The dam has been polluted by acid mine seepage. It is rich in manganese and aluminum, making it unsafe for human consumption.
In February, government deployed a team of scientists to fix the problem and they could not find a solution. It has left the community of Carolina raging. Residents say government should be embarrassed that the matter has come to this level. Two human rights organisations, Lawyers for Human Rights and the Legal Resources Centre took authorities responsible for providing portable water to court.
The court heard that more than 14 000 residents depend on three tankers of drinking water
The court heard that more than 14 000 residents depend on three tankers of drinking water per day.
Water Affairs needs more than R200 million to fix the water supply in the area. Lawyers for the Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality in Mpumalanga say the community is being supplied. It says it is providing 5l of drinking water per person per day. The municipality says the tap water is safe for all household uses, except cooking and drinking.
Environmentalists have warned of serious economical consequences to the agricultural industry. They say two out of five calves born will die.