File photo: SAPS (Twitter)

PRETORIA - The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) on Friday approached the North Gauteng High Court seeking an urgent interdict against the City of Tshwane over malfunctioning waste-water treatment works that are allegedly polluting plants within the metro's jurisdiction.

The department said it had been contending with malfunctioning waste-water treatment works within the metro since 2010, specifically at Rooiwal, Klipgat, Baviaanspoort and Sunderland Ridge. 

According to the department there was a risk of residents falling seriously ill from issues resulting from the below par works, and the metro's "inaction" had a direct impact on the department being able to provide safe and drinkable water.  

In August, the department and the metro were put on terms to ensure that water pollution be stopped immediately, following complaints raised by the  South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). 

But the city, said the department, had failed to honour the commitments made to the SAHRC and the situation was deteriorating daily as a result.

"DWS notes that failure by the metropolitan municipality to redress the problem as required by the South African Human Rights Commission will render the department a party to the on-going pollution of the resource and degradation of the environment," DWS said in a statement.

"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."

The city submitted an action plan dated July 2018 but the department rejected the plan, saying that the city had failed to treat the issues raised as a disaster and that a delivery target was only set for 30 June 2019.  

The city was not immediately available for comment. 

African News Agency (ANA)