Experts dispatched to Hammanskraal after cholera outbreak leads to deaths
The technical team will assist with matters such as water quality investigation and identifying the causes of the outbreak
The department of water and sanitation says it has assembled a technical team to work with the national and provincial departments of health and the City of Tshwane, as investigations continue to establish the source of the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.
It said its technical team will assist with matters such as water quality investigation and identifying the causes of the outbreak.
“The department has continuously been carrying out water quality tests at the Temba water treatment works and water distribution points in Hammanskraal.
“The latest tests indicate the quality from the Temba water treatment works does not meet minimum standards. The water supplied by Magalies and Rand Water meets the drinking water quality standards. Therefore the water quality challenges are in central Hammanskraal, which is supplied by the city.”
The department said it had directed the city to stop supplying water from the Temba plant to Hammanskraal residents for human consumption.
“The city is providing potable water to affected communities initially supplied by the Temba plant through the deployment of tankers.”
Water and sanitation minister Senzo Mchunu has committed to meeting Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink before Friday, with the aim of agreeing on a plan with timeframes for the city to rehabilitate and upgrade the Rooiwal wastewater treatment works.
The department said a joint task team between the department and the city will be established to oversee the work.
Meanwhile, the department of water and sanitation says it is pursuing legal action against the City of Tshwane metro in an effort to force it to use its grant allocations to rehabilitate and upgrade the Rooiwal wastewater treatment works in Hammanskraal.
According to acting spokesperson for the department Andile Tshona, the poor water quality experienced in parts of Hammanskraal is caused by the failure of the Rooiwal plant to meet the desirable final effluent quality for discharge to the Apies River, which in turn flows into the Leeukraal Dam. Tshona says the Hammanskraal community has been experiencing unreliable and poor quality potable water supply for an extended period, despite the upgrade of Temba water treatment plant to a capacity of 120 megalitres a day.
In 2021 the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) produced the “Gauteng Provincial Inquiry into the Sewage Pollution of the City of Tshwane’s Rivers and the Roodeplaat Dam” report, which recommended, among others, that the national government take over the water and sanitation function of the city.
The department engaged with the National Treasury for funding for the intervention recommended by the SAHRC, but the Treasury said the city had already been provided with funding for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Rooiwal plant, through its ur
“Consequently, the department is pursuing legal action against the city for a court order to force the city to use its USDG allocations to rehabilitate and upgrade the Rooiwal wastewater treatment works,” the department said in a statement. The department said it had over the years instituted a series of enforcement actions (directives) against the city for it to address the pollution from the Rooiwal plant into the Apies River and Leeukraal Dam.
“After the city failed to respond to the department’s directives, a legal process was instituted against the city, with the aim of obtaining a court order to force the city to address the failure of the Rooiwal wastewater treatment works. This legal process is now under way. “To date, the city has opposed the legal action.”
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