A water sample being taken. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said on Monday they had issued a letter of demand to the City of Tshwane calling for immediate action on the substandard potable water supplied by Magalies Water to Hammanskraal residents.

“Outa instructed an independent SANAS (South African National Accreditation System)-accredited water laboratory to conduct a random water sample in Hammanskraal. The results indicate that the water is not fit for consumption. The sample was taken on 5 July 2019 at the Hammanskraal Metro Police regional office in Region 2,” said Outa's operations executive Julius Kleynhans.

Outa said the community of Hammanskraal recently approached them to monitor the quality of their potable water to Magalies Water Board and the City of Tshwane because of concerns over water safety.

“The water quality is worse than in December 2018 when the community raised the same concerns. We call on Tshwane to take urgent action on this matter,” said Kleynhans.

The organisation said the results indicated high concentrations of nitrites (NO₂) and nitrates (NO₃) which posed a chronic health risk to some babies. 

Outa said the results also found a total viable count of 8720 CFU/ml, which was far higher than the accredited standard of <1000 CFU/ml for healthy water, which was an indicator of the presence of microorganisms such as bacteria in the water, though no E. coli was found.

“We saw government in denial and standoffs before and after the national election. Citizens must stand up and demand their rights. We must all have access to safe drinking water.”

The organisation said residents told them that the Tshwane metro had violated their right to human dignity and access to clean water.

African News Agency (ANA)