Hammanskraal water probe initiated by ActionSA to start soon
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Pretoria - The commission of inquiry initiated by ActionSA to probe the water crisis in Hammanskraal is set to commence next month.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said the party would use its financial resources to investigate the problem because “water purification technology is not rocket science”.
The party’s provincial manager of operations, Abel Tau, told the Pretoria News that the commission would take submissions from the City of Tshwane, contractors, civic organisations and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). It will sit on April 16, 17 and 18.
He said it was finalising talks with a retired judge who would lead the commission.
Tau said two community halls had been already earmarked to accommodate the commission. He said representatives of the SAHRC and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse would also form part of the panel.
Mashaba said that as a child of Hammanskraal, he was unhappy that so many years after democracy the township still battled with water issues. He said a contractor had been appointed in 2019 for two years on a project worth R295 million to address the suspected water contamination, but to date only 30% of the work had been done.
Tau said: “First we will compile a report that will be submitted to the City of Tshwane with informed recommendations to finally eradicate this problem.
“However, should the metro fail to implement it, we will take it to court.”
Provincial SAHRC head Buang Jones said they had not received the official invitation from ActionSA.
He said they would turn down the invitation because they were going to release a report into all water-related problems in Pretoria. The report was expected in June.
He said they were working on an investigation that looked beyond Hammanskraal to understand the problems caused by poor management of all the water treatment infrastructure in Pretoria.
Jones said: “We intervened in 2018 when we received complaints from the Hammanskraal residents and we invited the city and the CSIR, which took water samples and confirmed that the water was not safe for human consumption. We asked for alternative measures and they provided water tankers.
“Last November we went back again to Hammanskraal with representation from Parliament and we engaged the community and shared our findings with mayor Randall Williams, asking him to increase the water tankers.”
Jones said due to the fact that they were already involved in a similar matter, the may consider attending the ActionSA commission as an observer.