In the article titled Sewage Threatens World Heritage Site in the Mail & Guardian of 18 August 2020,
authored by Thando Maeko, it is stated that “According to the (Mogale City) water and sanitation department’s spokesperson Sputnik Ratau, the municipality failed to implement its own action plan regarding the turnaround of Percy Stewart (Waste Water Treatment Works) which was presented to the department last September and had a deadline of February this year.”
The Institute for Professional Tourist Guides of Southern Africa (IPTGSA) is a non-profit organisation, representing tourist guides that are professional (i.e., earn a living from this activity), and in the swathe of devastation left in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown of the country, and more so, especially the tourism industry, we deem this gross negligence by the Mogale Municipality to be criminal at the least, and indicative of the ANC lack of understanding of our industry.
With 224,000 visitors annually to the Cradle of Humankind, our members are very perturbed by this lax attitude to the maintenance and upgrading of the waste treatment facility. Baring in mind that toxic waste being dumped near to the treatment plant eventually affects Gauteng’s World Heritage Site in the areas of Sterkfontein, Kromdraai and Swartkrans, not only means a possible decline in tours for our members, but also a reduced number of visitors to sites such as Sterkfontein Caves, Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve and others, affecting jobs in such diverse fields as site guides at these places of interest, security guards, parking attendants, chefs and so much more.
It is thus, with great concern, that we appeal to the Mogale Municipality, to make this critical issue a priority, and put the plan of action tabled, into practice post haste!