A juice factory just outside of Hoedspruit is under investigation by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) for the discharge of effluent into a stream leading into the Blyde River.
According to Neels de Kock, Bonanza Vrugte Fabriek operational manager, the effluent has been discharged for about a year, but the company has been in liquidation since May and fixing the pollution has not been a priority.
A pervasive bad smell hangs around the factory and the water in the nearby stream shows signs of pollution from time to time. “The new owners of the factory have indicated that they intend to fix the problem as soon as possible.”
Water samples were taken at the beginning of October, and the Mpumalanga deputy director of water quality, Markus Selepe, has confirmed that “relevant investigations” were conducted. Selepe says, “Legal validation of the factory is currently being conducted since no records could be found.”
He adds that “appropriate measures” will be taken to ensure that the factory obtains proper authorisations if it is discharging effluent without complying with the national water acts. Selepe says, “These types of activities do sometimes have significant impact on water resources and particularly downstream users.”