DWS, City of Tshwane form joint task team to tackle Hammanskraal water issues

29th May 2023 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the City of Tshwane (CoT) have formed a joint task team to resolve the current water challenges following an outbreak of cholera in Hammanskraal, in Pretoria.

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu and CoT executive mayor Councillor Cilliers Brink agreed on the proposal for a joint project following a meeting on Friday that highlighted the national urgency of dealing with the water and sanitation challenges in the area.

The joint task team will oversee the interventions that are currently being made to solve the problem of depreciating water quality of Temba water treatment works (WTW), as well as an action plan to rehabilitate and upgrade the Rooiwal wastewater treatment works (WWTW) to the required water quality standards.

According to the DWS, it will cost an estimated R6-billion over the next four financial years for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Rooiwal WWTW and upgrade of the Temba WTW.

As the city does not have the capacity or sufficient funds on its own to address the water and sanitation challenges, the DWS and the CoT will engage the National Treasury to source funds that will supplement the existing funds to ensure the total budget required is secured.

Mchunu, expressing his satisfaction at the agreed proposals, called for both the DWS and CoT to look for one credible model to resolve the problems in Hammanskraal.

“There are historical problems that have contributed to this cholera outbreak, and today we have agreed to close that chapter and to work on finding solutions. We will be working on the processes of ensuring that the projects get underway, and that includes issues of funding and timeframes allocated to the project. We are fully committed to ensure that Rooiwal WTW is fixed, once and for all,” he assured.

Brink, reiterating the same sentiments, indicated the CoT’s agreement on the proposal for a joint project, and to form a partnership with the DWS to solve the long-standing issue of the under-capacitated Rooiwal WTW.

“We have now reached the end of a long line of failures and excuses, and whatever has failed in the past must be abandoned and has now been replaced by the partnership between the city and the DWS. The city will source additional funding and I believe this is a first step for an end to the failures, excuses and the squabbles of the past,” Brink concluded.