The residents of Milnerton were relieved to find that the Green Scorpions have issued a directive essentially forcing the City of Cape Town to acknowledge and fix the multiple sources of pollution dirtying Diep River Estuary and Milnerton Lagoon.

The problems at the Potsdam plant in Milnerton have also led to the loss of drinking water. This is because the Milnerton fuel refinery, which would normally use treated effluent, has switched to municipal water because the effluent is too dirty.

The treated effluent from the Potsdam plant is used notably by Astron Energy, which operates the fuel refinery, as well as for irrigation by farmers, Century City, and MyCiTi. It also flows into Diep River, which becomes the Milnerton Lagoon before flowing out to sea.

The Green Scorpions issued a directive to the City of Cape Town on September 21, 2020 ordering it to remedy the state of the lagoon which is filled with stagnant, polluted effluent. Failure to comply is a criminal offence.

“On January 21, MEC Anton Bredell rejected the City’s appeal and confirmed the validity of the directive issued in September 2020 by the Western Cape Government’s Directorate: Environmental Law Enforcement (Green Scorpions) ordering the City to remedy the state of the Diep River Estuary and Milnerton Lagoon,” the Milnerton Central Residents Association said via Facebook.

Should the City of Cape Town not adhere to the strict conditions set out in the directive to address the problems at the Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Works and related issues that caused the large-scale pollution in the Diep River Estuary and Milnerton Lagoon, they may be held criminally liable and will face fines up to R10-million or individuals within the City may face imprisonment for up to 10 years.

“Minister Anton Bredell and the Green Scorpions team are to be commended for the very thorough investigation and the real commitment to see it through despite obstacles and opposition. The directive demonstrates what can be achieved when government is prepared to act effectively to enforce the law irrespective of party politics,” the Association said.

“Our heartfelt thanks to OUTA (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse) for support with independent water testing and legal advice. OUTA’s involvement and professionalism have been game-changing bringing swift resolution after years of fighting unsuccessfully with the City for a cleaner environment. We now look forward to clean water and a return to the Lagoon’s natural beauty!”

ALSO READ: Green Scorpions order City of Cape Town to sort out pollution in the Milnerton Lagoon

Picture: Milnerton Central Residents Association/Facebook

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.