Hennops River Restoration Campaign Day 4 by Willem Snyman fresh.ngo
‘Day four started with more rubble trucks arriving and dumping in the Kaalfontein wetland. After a long discussion with one of the ‘self appointed’ developers who are selling these stands on the filled in wetland, the trucks were finally halted in this section. A court case is already in progress for removal by City Johannesburg. In an attempt to find a solution we visited the nearby RDP development. This is underway on a massive scale. Then the cavalry arrived in the form of a delegation of three officials from Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rurual Development GDARD. We pursued two more dumpster trucks on the other side of the stream and they were caught red-handed. A heated discussion on the illegality of the action and the grave danger to the people (who are sold these stands inside the river course and built on rubble inside the highwater line when flooding, as well as being built on the pipelines and their servitudes) ensued. A joint action with Johannesburg Municipality and Water and DWS is to be undertaken to remove the houses and hopefully the dumped rubble. This is vital as within a few months this wetland would have been filled in completely. I was advised to leave the site as the people might blame me when action is taken.
We found four more large sewerage leaks on a smaller side tributary of this wetland, as well as more rubble dumping inside it. The nearby Freedom Drive Wetland was walked and two more sewerage leaks found. Water quality has improved after the installation of a new pipeline although in some sections leaks persist. Tomorrow we are moving to the opposite side of the Kaalspruit to the Duduza Wetland in the Ekurheleni area of Tembisa. First we will identify sewerage leaks and to set up a community cleanup for the following day.’