ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba during a media briefing on the water crisis continuing to affect residents of Hammanskraal. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba during a media briefing on the water crisis continuing to affect residents of Hammanskraal. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

No end in sight in struggle for water in Hammanskraal

By Sakhile Ndlazi Time of article published Apr 19, 2021

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Pretoria - There seems to be no end in sight in the struggle to get clean and drinkable water for residents of Hammanskraal.

However, yesterday ActionSA said it would put an end to that by approaching the courts, should it not receive the co-operation from the City of Tshwane, once the report on water inquiry has been released.

The party hosted a three-day day public hearing into the state of water in the township, following years of complaints by residents.

“ActionSA will approach the courts, if necessary, to compel the City of Tshwane to provide these documents, so that the people of Hammanskraal and Tshwane more broadly, can see justice against those who take funds meant to fix a 16-year water crisis and use it for nefarious means,” said Mashaba.

Chief among an array of problems, was the use of contaminated water caused by the ageing plant discharging sludge into the Apies River.

Also fed up were informal traders, early childhood development centres, and farmers, who made submissions during the hearing.

Organisers of the inquiry had anticipated Tshwane mayor Randall Williams to be part of proceedings, but he didn’t turn up.

Second, the party claimed it was denied entry into the plant.

Former Tshwane utility services mayoral committee member Abel Tau, now an ActionSA member, said there were red flags with the contract awarded to fix the Rooiwal WasteWater Treatment Plant.

Echoing Tau’s sentiments was a municipal official, known as Mr X, who voluntarily came forward during the inquiry

His testimony pointed the finger at serious irregularities in a R295 million tender awarded by the City, to a joint venture involving a company allegedly owned by Edwin Sodi.

The testimony to the hearings was conducted in-camera, to protect the identity of the municipal official, with more than 30 years of experience in the water industry.

Mr X demonstrated that cheaper tenders with greater experience were overlooked, in favour of the joint venture that was ultimately awarded the contract.

Mr X’s testimony spoke clearly to the fact that the contract that was awarded, and the scope of work in the contract should have improved the water quality for the people of Hammanskraal during the lockdown last year.

Williams admitted during his State of the City Address that the Rooiwal upgrades were almost halfway done.

“The first phase of the multi-year project, to upgrade the Rooiwal WasteWater Treatment Works, is on track and the overall progress is at 48%, with the contractor expecting to be more than 50% done by the end of this financial year in June,” Williams said

Rooiwal is the biggest water treatment plant in Tshwane, treating almost half of the city’s waste water.

Pretoria News

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