“On 2 November 2018, video footage was taken of a truck parked at the emergency sewerage dam located at the Peacehaven Pump Station, which video was posted on social media, reportedly by a local concerned resident as evidence that sewerage was being pumped into an adjacent stream.
The video depicts the registration number of a combination truck belonging to Rescue Rod (Pty) Ltd but operated by Khuduyane Quigley (Pty) Ltd with its hose boom arm hanging over the emergency sewerage dam. The video also depicts what appears to be raw sewerage flowing in a stream with a white pipe immersed in the stream and a red hose laid out on the ground adjacent to the stream towards the red combination truck. A photograph of the red combination truck also appears in an article published by the Vaalweekblad on the 2nd November 2018 entitled “BETRAP -So word ons water besoedel”. At the time of filming it is evident that the combination vehicle was not operating, in fact the vehicle had only just arrived, had not commenced any work at all and was waiting for instructions from the Emfuleni Local Municipality and Oxy Trading 541 CC. Neither the red hose, nor the pipe in the stream are the property of Rescue Rod and were in those positions when Rescue Rod arrived at the scene.
The Vaalweekblad published the article, sensationally and falsely reporting that the video depicts raw sewerage being dumped into the stream and inferred that the operators of the red combination truck were responsible.
In truth and fact the Emfuleni Local Municipality contracted Oxy Trading 541 CC to assist in repairs to the failure of the sewerage infrastructure and the resultant flow of effluent and raw sewerage into the Vaal River system. Oxy Trading 541 CC in turn subcontracted Khuduyane Quigley (Pty) Ltd on 3rd September 2018 to supply a single combination truck and operators, all under their supervision and control, to inter alia vacuum and transport effluent and sewerage from the various pump stations in order to facilitate the repairs and maintenance and to deposit the sewerage at official disposal sewerage sites provided by the Emfuleni Local Municipality, namely at the Sharpeville Waste Water Treatment Works and pump station 4.
The video does not depict, nor did Khuduyane Quigley (Pty) Ltd or Rescue Rod (Pty) Ltd deposit sewerage or any other effluent into the stream and the allegations, inferences and conclusions that Rescue Rod (Pty) Ltd has done so by the Vaalweekblad and other members of the public, are baseless, false, wrongful, reckless and defamatory of the good name and reputation of Rescue Rod (Pty) Ltd.
Regrettably management at Rescue Rod (Pty) Ltd were not, (as ethical journalism would require), contacted for comment prior to the publication of the article with links to the video footage depicting the combination truck belonging to Rescue Rod (Pty) Ltd and had the time and effort being taken by the Vaalweekblad to do so, the true facts and circumstances would have been disclosed to them. It is noteworthy in fact that Rescue Rod (Pty) Ltd was only contacted today (6th November 2018) at 09h39 by the Vaalweekblad for comment.
Rescue Rod (Pty) Ltd will be demanding a written apology and a retraction of all and any reference and/or inference to their dumping of sewerage and/or other material into the river system from the Vaalweekblad. It is noteworthy that the concerned local resident who originally posted the video on social media has already deleted her post.
However, on the positive side Rescue Rod (Pty) Ltd and Khuduyane Quigley (Pty) Ltd are encouraged by the dedicated and committed approach many members of our community exhibit toward the protection of our scarce and precious resources, without their involvement our environment would be at serious risk. Rescue Rod (Pty) Ltd and Khuduyane Quigley (Pty) Ltd are committed to the protection and conservation of the environment and eco-system including by the ethical implementation of the highest waste water management processes and solutions and also strive to act in the best interests of the local communities. If any member of the community believes that they are witnessing behaviour or conduct which threatens our resources they are urged to contact our Head Office directly on 011 452 3232.”