--> -->
Menu +

AfriForum positive about its blue and green-drop reports

May 12, 2015 deur Admin

The civil rights organisation AfriForum is positive about developments with respect to water-quality management in areas throughout South Africa where their branches are situated. The AfriForum blue and green-drop campaign tested the quality of drinking and sewage water in 132 towns in March this year.

‘It is incredible to see organised communities taking responsibility and standing up for their rights and monitoring the quality of the water provided by their municipalities. Those towns that did not previously comply with regulations were taken to task by AfriForum and we have seen a significant improvement in general,’ said Julius Kleynhans, AfriForum Head of Environmental Affairs.


Blue drop


AfriForum tested the quality of drinking water in 132 towns, and only five municipalities did not comply with the quality standards for drinking water. ‘Last year, 11 out of 107 drinking water systems were not up to standard,’ said Kleynhans.



The blue-drop results indicated that five municipalities did not comply with water quality standards, namely:


  1. Molteno – Inkwanca Local Municipality: E. coli.
  2. Stella – Naledi Local Municipality: excess nitrates. The samples indicated 50 mg of nitrates per 100 ml of water, which may cause methaemoglobinaemia in infants, according to the South African Water Quality Guidelines Volume 1: Domestic Water Use, second edition, 1996.
  3. Tarkastad – Tsolwana Local Municipality: E. coli.
  4. Coligny – Ditsobotla Local Municipality: E. coli (for the second year in a row).
  5. Vryheid – Abaqulusi Local Municipality: E. coli.

* There may be no e. coli in drinking water according to SANS: 241 national standards.


The communities were informed by AfriForum not to drink the water and the municipalities were put on terms to rectify the quality of their water. Follow-up samples indicated that the water was clean.


Green drop


AfriForum also tested 58 sewage water systems, of which 26 did not comply with quality standards. ‘Various municipalities shut their doors to us, denying AfriForum access to sample their waste water quality this year. This is understandable considering the dreadful state of waste water management in general in the country. However, we have seen significant improvement in access control to these sites, and 15 sewage systems have improved dramatically, complying with quality standards on the dates tested,’ added Kleynhans.


‘The results emphasised that the 26 waste water treatment works that did not comply pose a threat to human health, food security and the environment,’ Kleynhans added. South Africa’s national water quality standards make allowance for 1 000 units of E. coli per 100 ml of water in treated sewage.


Municipalities that did not comply are the following:



Branch Municipality Province Green drop AfriForum 2013 Green drop AfriForum 2014 Green drop AfriForum 2015
Barkley East Senqu Municipality Eastern Cape 2000
Belfast Emakhazeni LM Mpumalanga 19 000 690 000 5 200
Bethel Goven Mbeki LM Mpumalanga 450 000
Centurion Tshwane Metro Gauteng 10 000
Christiana Lekwa-Teemane LM North-West 3 500
Dullstroom Emakhazeni LM Mpumalanga 2 000
Elliot Sakhisizwe LM Eastern Cape 36 000 Discarded 4 000
Ermelo Msukaligwa LM Mpumalanga Green drop 310 000 590 000
Kimberley Sol Plaatje LM Northern Cape 1500
Klerksdorp City of Matlosana North-West >40 000 >1000
Kroonstad Moqhaka LM Free State Clean Discarded > 1 000 000
Langkloof (Joubertina) Kou-Kamma LM Oos-Kaap Green drop 11 500 12 000
Lichtenburg Ditsobotla LM North West > 120 000 59 000 4 000
Lydenburg Thaba Chweu LM Mpumalanga 1 000 000 73 400
Newcastle Newcastle LM KwaZulu-Natal 10 000
Oudtshoorn Oudtshoorn LM Western Cape Clean > 1000 000
Petrus Steyn Nketoana LM Free State 14 000 > 1 000 000
Reitz Nketoana LM Free State 2 500
Rustenburg Rustenburg LM North-West >1000
Silverton Tshwane Metro Gauteng 2 400 11 000
Springs Ekurhuleni Metro Gauteng 2 400 2 400
Standerton Lekwa LM Mpumalanga 100 000
Stella Naledi LM North West 10 000
Theunissen Masilonyana LM Free State 25 000
Vredendal Matzikama LM Western Cape Clean Clean 8 000
Winburg Masilonyana LM Free State 2 000 Clean 10 000


The outcome of the 2015 survey will be used to monitor the same infrastructure, and more, in future.


AfriForum will position itself throughout South Africa to use all the relevant resources to ensure that issues are addressed immediately in order to conserve this precious resource. Letters on non-compliance are currently being served on municipalities.


AfriForum is still concerned with the state of water quality throughout the country. ‘According to the Department of Water and Sanitation’s blue and green-drop reports for 2013, 1 009 drinking water systems were assessed, of which only approximately 263 complied with blue-drop status standards. The green-drop report indicated that only 60 out of 824 waste water systems had received green-drop status,’ said Kleynhans.


‘It is essential that we continuously monitor our drinking and sewage water quality. We must protect this critical resource and ensure that what happened in Bloemhof in 2014 does not repeat itself,’ said Kleynhans.


SMS the name of your town to 45354 to join AfriForum in its initiative to ensure the sustainable use and protection of our water resources (R1/SMS).

View Blue and Green Drop Project Report 2015 here .