The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has taken the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality to court over pollution that it says emanates from water treatment plants in the metro’s jurisdiction.
The matter was set to be heard in the Gauteng High Court on Friday, and the DWS said that it hoped to secure an urgent interdict to ensure remedial actions.
The department has described the malfunction of four waste water treatment plants, including Rooiwal, Klipgat, Baviaanspoort and Sunderland, as “critical”.
The South African Human Rights Council (SAHRC) has put the DWS and Tshwane on terms to ensure that the water pollution be stopped, but the department is claiming that the metro has not been cooperating.
“Failure by the metropolitan municipality to redress the problem as required SAHRC, will render the department a party to the ongoing pollution of the resource and degradation of the environment. This cannot be as the department must adhere to legislation as the sole protector of water resources in South Africa tasked also with providing clean drinkable water,” it said in a media statement on Friday.
The DWS has rejected the action plan that Tshwane submitted in July. It also said that it was not acceptable that Tshwane planned to only deliver on the plan by June 30, 2019, considering the serious state of affairs.