Hammanskraal residents are still concerned about the unclean water from their taps. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Hammanskraal residents are still concerned about the unclean water from their taps. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Hammanskraal water still tainted, say Outa, AfriForum

By RAPULA MOATSHE Time of article published Dec 3, 2019

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Pretoria - The statement that the water in Hammanskraal was good for human consumption was devoid of any truth.

This was the reaction by civil rights groups to reports suggesting that the water problem in the area was now solved.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) expressed concern about the reports, saying they were misleading.

While the water quality had improved over the past six months, Outa said it did not yet meet safe standards.

Outa legal project manager Soretha Venter said Outa had conducted water sample tests every two weeks on Hammanskraal's water through an accredited laboratory. Outa obtained nine reports, which showed the water was unsafe.

“Our most recent sample indicated that there is no E.coli in the water, but there are high traces of ammonia, manganese, turbidity, carbon and monochloramine, which poses chronic health risks,” said Venter.

Hammanskraal residents forum chairperson Tumelo Koitheng said he was highly perturbed by the statement that the water was safe for drinking.

He said his organisation rejected the report with the contempt it deserved.

“Since the latest test conducted at the CSIR and the SA Human Rights Commission, they clearly stated the opposite.

"The results confirmed that the water is contaminated,” Koitheng said.

Last week AfriForum’s Tshwane representative, Jaco Grobbelaar, told the Pretoria News that water in the area was safe for drinking.

However, Grobbelaar has since retracted this claim by issuing a statement showing that the water is not safe for drinking.

He said the civil rights group requested the City “to make use of alternative resources to supply clean drinking water until the problem is solved”.

AfriForum sampled water for testing at the Jubilee Shopping Centre and at the Hammanskraal Police Station.

“The results indicate that the water sample that was at Jubilee contains 8.8units of combined nitrate and nitrite, which exceeds the limit for drinking water.”

He encouraged residents to use bottled water until further notice from the City.

“AfriForum will, however, continuously evaluate the water quality to protect the constitutional rights of Hammanskraal residents and to ensure that they are supplied with clean drinking water.

"Furthermore, AfriForum also urges the metro to restore the water quality to the required standard again as soon as possible so that residents can have access to clean drinking water,” the AfriForum representative said.

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