A leading international water technology firm announced this week that its water clean-up intervention at the Setumo Dam in North West was completed successfully. For the first time in decades, residents of Mahikeng are now drinking safe water from their major water supply source, which had been severely contaminated by poisonous algal blooms.
BlueGreen Water Technologies announced that the successful treatment at Setumo Dam also removed unsavoury taste and odour components from the drinking water.
The algae outbreak at Setumo Dam was regarded as one of Mzansi’s worst. The significant cayanobacterial load was caused over decades by sewage not being properly cleaned and dumped directly into the dam. The dam was said to be untreatable due to its size and level of contamination.
“BlueGreen is committed to making water safe,” explains Eyal Harel, CEO and co-founder of the company.
“We undertook this project pro bono, knowing it was the only chance for this community to access clean drinking water, to enjoy Setumo Dam as a safe water source and to unleash its potential for recreational purposes. We wish to empower local authorities to reclaim their water sources and advance the health and livelihood of their communities.”
Alcohol industry paying deferred excise tax
Following the government’s announcement of the country’s fourth blanket ban on alcohol sales in June, the South African Liquor Brand Owners Association (SALBA) requested that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) extend payment terms on excise charges owed to SARS for the month of June.
SARS requested a 90-day payment deferment for excise taxes on alcohol that are due in October.
SALBA said on Wednesday [6 October] that its members, which include major alcoholic beverage companies like Distell, Heineken, Diageo, Pernod Ricard and DGB, had started paying their excise tax obligations to SARS this month.
“The alcohol industry has a liability to pay excise tax on end products that are in warehouses and could not be sold due to the prohibition of alcohol sales. Holding back on accounts payable, which includes the monthly excise tax payments to SARS, was one of the few options we had left to help us weather the short-term liquidity challenge we were facing due to the fourth ban of sales,” says SALBA chairperson Sibani Mngadi.
He adds that SALBA was grateful that SARS granted deferment of excise tax payable and would begin honouring these payments.
“What industry needs now is some degree of stability in the short to medium term for the sector to make its contribution to the economic recovery of the country. Government equally needs some stability in tax revenue streams of which tax on alcoholic beverages is a significant part.”
According to Euromonitor International, illicit alcohol has grown to 22% of the total volume of alcohol sold following the bans of alcohol sales within South Africa. Spirits constitute 48% of the illicit market (mainly through smuggling), followed by homebrews at 24% and sugar-fermented ales at 22%.
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