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09 November 2011

Apies River declared disaster area

The Water Affairs Department on Wednesday declared the Apies River a disaster area following significant water pollution.

The river is located near the Rooiwal sewage works, north of Pretoria.

In October, Eyewitness News reported on the sewerage leaking into the river after farmers complained that it was killing fish and contaminating their irrigation dams.

Eyewitness News understands the Tshwane Municipality has set aside R11 million to address the problem.

AfriForum's Julius Kleynhans welcomed the move.

“There are a lot of fish that have died in the area, as well as agricultural practices that have been influenced negatively.”

He said the problems were caused by inadequate planning and management.

“Another big problem is the insufficient maintenance of the water treatment plant that is partially due to the prevalence of corruption,” he added.

The municipality and the department could not be reached.