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Media Statement: George Municipality responds on allegations made by Gardag

George Municipality takes note of the duplicity of Gardag in attempting  to relate the Cholera infections experienced in Tshwane, Hammanskraal  to the water quality available in George. Cholera is most likely to occur and spread in places with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and inadequate hygiene.  George Municipalities water quality is of an excellent standard with all of the parameters complying with SANS 0241 standards for drinking water.

The George Municipality publishes information on the quality of drinking water supplied to consumers as recommended by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) .  The Drinking Water Quality will going forward be reported on the George Municipal website on a quarterly basis and to DWS on their IRIS system on a monthly basis, as part of the Blue Drop Compliance programme. Samples of raw water at both the old and new water treatment facilities are taken once a week.  Samples of the final treated water at the treatment facilities are taken twice a week.  Strategic sample points in the water distribution network and reservoirs are also monitored by the George Municipal Laboratory.  Different bacteriological, chemical and physical parameters are measured and monitored.

With reference to the two spillage incidents as reported on by GARDAG:

On 1 May 2023, Pump set No 1 tripped out at the Eden Sewer pump station.  On 24 May 2023, during scheduled loadshedding, the backup electrical generator at the pump station had a mechanical failure. In both instances this was picked up through the telemetry and SCADA early warning systems. Tanker suction and mobile pump services were obtained to control the situation while remedial measures were implemented.  As per protocol George Municipality notifies the Department of Water Services, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, the Garden Route District Municipality and the Breede-Gourits Catchment Management Agency of all spillages. The Eden Pump Station is still under upgrade and the next phase will start soon.

George Municipality recently received an Emergency Load Shedding Relief Grant to assist with the ongoing load-shedding crisis.  Backup power generating units have been installed at our critical sewer pump stations along water courses and at our water and wastewater treatment facilities as from 2022 and others remain in progress.

George Municipality is aware of continued concerns pertaining to the proposed development at the Garden Route Dam after Interested and Affected Parties (IAP) were all informed of the decision by the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP) to grant the Environmental Authorisation on 19 September 2022. In these communications full details were provided for the reasons for the decision, as well as information pertaining to the right to appeal the decision.