SIU to investigate missing funds meant for Rooiwal water plant upgrade

SIU head Any Mothibi with ANC MP Sakhumzi Somyo during his appearance before Scopa. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

SIU head Any Mothibi with ANC MP Sakhumzi Somyo during his appearance before Scopa. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published May 24, 2023


Johannesburg  - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) will embark on a probe into the Rooiwal water treatment plant project following reports alleging that the funds set aside to upgrade the water system in Hammanskraal were not accounted for.

This comes after reports alleging that businessman and tender tycoon Edwin Sodi's company received a contract worth R295 million to upgrade the Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told IOL on Wednesday that the investigations would only start after they had been granted a proclamation to deal with the matter.

However, Kganyago said that the SIU had received a complaint about a failed Rooiwal water project, and not necessarily Sodi, but stated that investigations would reveal everything.

"Only when we have the proclamation will the police start investigating because when we get a complaint we follow up to check the situation. We also got extra information, but it took us longer because of the changes that were happening in Tshwane," he said.

The investigations into the project are fuelled by the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal that has so far claimed 17 lives.

Meanwhile, the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation will visit Hammanskraal on Thursday to engage role-players to ascertain why recommendations that were agreed upon during a meeting that was held with the committee on February 7 were not implemented.

The committee held several meetings with the City of Tshwane, the Department of Water and Sanitation, and water boards to find solutions to the challenge of the quality of water within the city.

The chairperson of the committee, Robert Mashego, said they were aware of the political and administrative instability that had besieged the city, but remained of the view that the correct undertakings that were made by all role-players should have been carried through.

“It is unacceptable that despite the committee warning in 2019 already about the dangers of the unsatisfactory water quality, the municipality has not implemented the recommendations as agreed,” Mashego said.

The committee said the mayor, Cilliers Brink, was keen to work with them to resolve the matter.

“What is necessary at this point is to conduct a thorough investigation to establish the root cause of the contamination of water and to ensure that a process of decontamination unfolds. What is also critical at this point is to ensure the people of Hammanskraal get quality clean water,” he emphasised.

The committee reiterated that apportioning blame at this time would delay any progress in addressing the problem, and might lead to further loss of life.

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