AfriForum Emfuleni

Glyphosate being sprayed over the Vaal River. Image: X/@WaterCAN

AfriForum charges Emfuleni municipal manager for Vaal River contamination

AfriForum has charged the municipal manager in Emfuleni for the sewage spillage on the Vaal River, which caused contamination.

AfriForum Emfuleni

Glyphosate being sprayed over the Vaal River. Image: X/@WaterCAN

Civil rights organisation AfriForum has laid a criminal charge against Emfuleni Local Municipal Manager April Ntuli for sewage spillage in the Vaal river. 

The organisation wants the manager of the embattled local municipality to be prosecuted in his personal capacity. 


In April, the SABC, reported that water in some parts of the Vaal area, under Emfuleni including Sebokeng Zone 7, Palm Springs, Beverley Hills, Lakeside, and Everton, had been contaminated. Technicians believe a collapsed sewer pipeline caused the contamination.

Afriforum said the large-scale spill provides, among other things, a favourable breeding ground for several invasive plant species, including water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), whose occurrence has increased alarmingly since the end of 2023. It has also criticised the government today for failing to tackle this critical problem. 

The organisation said it has worked with several other organisations and community members for months to limit the spread of the invasive species and protect the sensitive Vaal River ecosystem.

AfriForum’s Jaco Grobbelaar said the government has been struggling with the water lettuce crisis for months. 

Grobbelaar said that although the government has already convened numerous meetings with the community, it is taking months to approve specific actions to tackle the problem. 

“In the end, it always comes down to the community to put their hands in their pockets and jump to work themselves to fight this natural disaster,” Grobbelaar said. 

AfriForum Emfuleni
AfriForum’s Jaco Grobbelaar. Image: AfriForum.


In addition, AfriForum has urged public to lay a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

AfriForum has also encouraged the public to submit complaints regarding the dumping of untreated sewage to the Human Rights Commission (HRC). 

“Citizens have the right to a clean and safe environment. At the moment, the government is violating that right and must be called to account to correct it,” Grobbellar added. 

Complaints can be lodged here:

AfriForum Emfuleni
The water lettuce on the Vaal River reportedly caused by pollution. Image: AfriForum.