Theunissen Sewer Plant: Cholera threatens as municipal negligence continues

Issued by André Kruger – DA Councillor Lejweleputswa District Municipality
08 Jun 2023 in Press Statements

Note to editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Cllr André Kruger and Sesotho by Karabo Khakhau MP.

During an oversight visit by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to the sewer plant in Theunissen, it was alarming to discover that the facility has been without electricity for two weeks. Despite the cholera outbreak claiming lives in the Free State, the untreated sewage continues to flow unchecked. Please see pictures here, here, here and here.

Shockingly, no municipal workers were present during our visit. The plant, which is merely 25 years old, has deteriorated to a state of disrepair, reminiscent of its former glory in 1998 when it was considered the best available technology.

Astonishingly, grass now grows within one of the aerators, while the malfunctioning augers fail to remove solids, causing methane bubbles to surface from the dysfunctional ponds.

The DA contacted, both the Water Manager and Municipal Manager, who claimed ignorance regarding the prolonged power outage.

The DA remains committed to closely monitoring this dire situation. We will not stand idly by while the health and safety of our communities are at risk.

Therefore, we will take immediate action by tabling questions in the council to demand answers on the electricity restoration implementation plan and initiate an investigation into the root causes of this negligent situation. We call on the municipality to seek alternative energy solutions to prevent future occurrences.

Every effort must be made to prevent the further spread of cholera and ensure the well-being of our communities. The DA is determined to hold those responsible accountable and to work towards swift and effective solutions.