Registered office: 99 Kaalplaats, Windsor on Vaal
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Phone 083 286 3500/0825705058

6 JUNE 2024


As part of a co-ordinated effort to remove water lettuce and water hyacinth from the Taaibosspruit
which flows into the Vaal River, Omnia Group has made a donation to SAVE. The funds will be used
to mechanically remove water lettuce and hyacinth from the Taaibosspruit.

These noxious weeds have taken a firm grip on both the Taaibosspruit and the Vaal Barrage
Reservoir to the detriment of aquatic life, tourism and the hospitality industry. Both the Taaibosspruit
and the Vaal River between Vanderbijl Park and the Barrage have been covered with carpets of
these weeds. High nutrient levels in the water, caused mainly by raw or partly treated sewage from
municipal waste water plants has enabled these weeds to flourish.

General Manager (Manufacturing) SSB, Hein Botes said “We believe that by allocating these funds,
together we can make a meaningful social and economic impact on the communities that are
supported by the Vaal River system”. Botes noted that Omnia is firmly committed to supporting
the local community in finding a long term and sustainable solution to resolving the invasive
water plant species issue.

SAVE expressed deep appreciation to Omnia for this support, emphasising that their efforts are
dependent on both corporate and private donations to combat and prevent pollution of the Vaal
River between the Vaal Dam and Parys.

SAVE has appointed a contractor to undertake the Taaibos project. It is expected that the process
will take some 10 weeks. Activities will be overseen by Rand Water in strict compliance with the
General Authorisation.

A General Authorisation was given to Rand Water by the Department of Water and Sanitation to
oversee the eradication of the aquatic weeds from the Vaal River Barrage Reservoir. An integrated
approach of physical extraction, biocontrol, use of herbicide and curtaining areas of the river was
approved and is being overseen by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment as well
as the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Up to now, the Vaal community has provided the finances to support mechanical and physical
removal of these aquatic weeds from the Vaal Barrage Reservoir. Numerous river property owners
have spent months on the river, abstracting these aquatic weeds through various methods including
heavy earth moving equipment, conveyers, and boats. These efforts have been successful and
have yielded good results, however further effort is required, and the only long-term sustainable
solution is for the halting of sewerage flow into the Vaal River.

he exponential growth of the aquatic weeds has been due to the uncontrolled and non-compliant
discharges from municipal wastewater systems into the Vaal River Barrage Reservoir, either directly
or via tributaries that flow into the Vaal River. There are 32 wastewater treatment plants that
discharge either directly into the Vaal or its tributaries.

SAVE is continuing to engage authorities – to urge them to provide the necessary funding and
remedial actions to halt the sewage pollution which causes high nutrient levels in the Vaal River. If
the nutrient levels were reduced dramatically, this will lead to the aquatic weeds no longer being
able to thrive and flourish at the rate they were able to this past summer.

Issued by Maureem Stewart
Save the Vaal Environment
Ontact. 082 5705058