Original Research

Geohydrological aspects of importance in the public management of basic water supply services in Merafong City Local Municipality (Carletonville area), South Africa

Eric J. Nealer
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 16, No 1 | a671 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v16i1.671 | © 2020 Eric J. Nealer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 February 2019 | Published: 31 March 2020

About the author(s)

Eric J. Nealer, Department of Public Administration and Management, University of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Carletonville is a gold-mining town in western Gauteng province, South Africa, and is located in the Merafong City Local Municipality’s geographical area of responsibility. It is one of the richest gold-producing areas in the world but unfortunately the current state of the town’s infrastructure is in shambles and the environment is in a pitiful state because of human activities that have caused massive physical changes. Geohydrological aspects such as complex geology and the compartmentalisation of the groundwater into seven areas separated by syenite dykes, of which five have been dewatered to facilitate the gold-mining, have made it the research area of choice. Unfortunately, this led to the formation of hundreds of new sinkholes between the towns of Westonaria and Carletonville and eventually the evacuation of the old town of Bank, abandoning the area and declaring it unsuitable for human settlements. To try and identify possible reasons for this unfortunate state of the human-induced environmental change all along the Wonderfontein Spruit draining the area, the author using a comprehensive literature review, study of geological maps and databases as well as through data collection and semi-structured interviews with selected role-players and stakeholders identified basic essential geographical, geohydrological, organisational and municipal management aspects of significance for consideration. These steps were all a part of an attempt to improve the nature and extent of basic water-, sanitation-, human settlements- and environmental management in the Westonaria, Carletonville and Khutsong areas.

Keywords

community participation; dolomite rock; geohydrology; municipal management; basic water; sanitation service.

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