FOSAF is represented on the committee of SAVE The Vaal Environment and this NGO is progressing positively on its court action. This concerns mid Vaal sewage pollution accountability by the relevant municipalities, by local/provincial/national government departments and by their respective heads. Last month, the High Court accepted an order of court, and an affidavit is being issued. This is the court approval for progressive action by SAVE against the municipality and government on grounds of the latter’s dereliction of duty by non-performance, misappropriation of funds and by their allowing wastewater treatment works and sewage pump stations to degrade into a state of breakdown and disrepair. As with all South African law cases at present this legal matter is long-drawn out but all things point a SAVE victory. The progress made to date by SAVE is spurring other action groups into taking similar steps in their respective riverine areas.



A major component of this abomination is the authorities’ nationwide disregard for human, animal and environmental rights. Direct results of this wilful neglect include cholera and an alarming loss of quality and quantity of our inland fish, insect life and precious water. Smallmouth and largemouth yellowfish populations are dwindling. As a result, middle Vaal aquatic insect life requiring moderate/clean water quality has in recent years led to the disappearance of several mayfly species, stoneflies and other yellowfish dietary staple food. Regular independent water testing in the area shows E. coli counts 180 times the safe WHO maximum limit. Despite our and others’ requests over the years, cholera counts are still not monitored by any government or state utility water quality testing.

Looking at the big picture, concerned flyfishers can join FOSAF and help us represent the flyfishing community to protect our fish and water. On the individual level, in polluted rivers and dams flyfishers should always wear waders and avoid any direct contact with such water. Practices such as wetting one’s knots with saliva should be avoided. Apart from cholera there are a host of other highly-contagious gastrointestinal disorders which are readily transmitted via river/dam, raw sewage and untreated waste water. All sectors of the community including flyfishers and tourism should work together at all levels to combat this criminal neglect/behaviour. A little bit goes a long way when good people get involved on a proactive basis.

The invasive plague of water hyacinth, water lettuce and salvinia continues in our inland local rivers and dams. Several interest groups, ourselves included, continue to work with Rhodes University and Rand Water Environmental Services with their weevil biological programme on these plants’ eradication. Unfortunately, this is a seasonal cycle and is therefore an annual ongoing process.

A positive factor this year is flyfishers’ growing awareness of the reality and concern as regards the above.

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