South Africa’s once so pristine fresh-water streams have become so dangerously polluted that many people now are dying of water-borne diseases and large international food-chains refuse to buy local produce irrigated with water from the Hartbeespoortdam – which provides 12-million people with reticulated drinking water in South Africa’s economic heartland.
The first serious warnings of water-pollution emerged in SA on December 6 2008, when the courageous Dr Anthony Turton, at that time the country’s top water-research scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, quit after trying to release his hard-hitting scientific paper he had been asked to divulge at an international clean-water conference in SA.
SA faces socio-economic collapse from heavily-polluted fresh-water resources:
He warned that ‘South Africa was facing very rapid socio-economic collapse due to the heavily polluted South African fresh-water resources.” He warned that its very scarce rivers and streams were becoming increasingly clogged and difficult to clean because of the mountains of mostly plastic and chemical waste constantly being dumped into them – and even worse, that the water was becoming so polluted with human faeces that the annual rainfall was unable to wash it all away. Semi-arid South Africa ‘s less than 450mm annual rainfall is not enough to clean up the mess.
“ Less than 450mm annual rainfall cannot clean up this mess “
In many much wetter countries than SA, the 'dilution factor' can wash many pollutants from the water -- if no fresh pollutants are added any longer. In South Africa, the continuous streams of chemical and faecal waste are being dumped at such high levels in its open-water supplies that it cannot get cleaned up by the annual rainfall, Turton warned. His banned report can be found on: http://blat.co.za/KeynoteAddressCSIR2008.pdf
By November 2011, only 28 of the original 232 municipal sewerage plants still worked properly:
Turton warned in 2008 that this ‘overwhelming’ faecal pollution of the country’s preciously sparse fresh-water supplies – above and belowground, even in deep acquifers -- was mainly due to the near-total collapse of (at that point) 181 of the country's 232 municipal waste-water purification plants, all sited along the countrys network of rivers and dams.
By November 2011, only 28 of these municipal plants were still in working order. Municipal purification plants therefore are pouring thousands of tons of unfiltered, untreated human- and chemical waste directly into the country's fresh-water streams and rivers, he warned. In 2008 he warned that many taxpayers countrywide were often complaining of alling ill and dying from drinking the municipal water, he warned.
9,000 skilled, educated municipal sewerage plant engineers were forced to quit because they were white men:
And while Turton didn’t write this fact -- other research published on Sept 9 2008, by top investigative journalist Louise Flanagan of The Star newspaper, also showed that the water treatment plants across the country were so badly run by unqualified personnel.
Cartoon Manual designed for sewage-plant operators who could barely write…
The black replacements for those 9,000 qualified white water-engineers were so uneducated that the Water Research Commission had to create a cartoon-like manual to teach sewage-plant operators with SYMBOLS instead of in writing, showing them how to carry out tests to establish clean-water safety levels…
An official from the WRC said that all the 181 water-reticulation plants they had surveyed in 2009 ‘were being run by people with very low educational standards’ -- that in fact, ‘some could barely read”. That’s why they created their cartoon-manual – and their survey also found that none of these new sewage-plant operators had any engineering skills.
White engineers barred from jobs:
This deadly health danger was brought about mainly by the fact that more than 9,000 municipal posts have fallen vacant after some 80% of the country's qualified engineers have emigrated since 1994 -- these 'paler-skinned' South African male citizens lost their jobs only due to the ANC government's black-economic empowerment laws.
Turton, as the top water-scientist at the Council for Science and Industrial Research, has since resigned. Read reports here and here: Turton resignation: http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2434440,00.html