City insists Hammanskraal water is safe for human consumption
THE City of Tshwane has reiterated that the water supply in Hammanskraal is fit for human consumption.
This despite the fact that the metro is facing legal action that will force it to provide clean drinking water for residents in the area.
Civil rights organisation Fair and Equitable Society last week instituted proceedings against the City to force it to provide Hammanskraal with clean drinking water.
In a statement, the organisation said it intended to pray that the court compelled the City to fulfil its constitutional obligations to Hammanskraal.
The organisation sent a letter of demand to Tshwane in November, ordering the City to cease providing water that was unfit for human consumption to Hammanskraal.
In the letter, it said the City should put measures in place for the provision of safe drinking water for Hammanskraal within 10 days of receiving the letter.
“To date there has been no reply from Tshwane and the failure on its part, coupled with the lacklustre attitude, has prompted these proceedings to be instituted,” said Samantha Sarjoo, Fair and Equitable Society’s director of legal affairs.
“The City has a duty as a water service authority to ensure efficient, affordable, economical and sustainable access to water services.
“Everyone has a right of access to water supply and sanitation and we cannot allow citizens to be subjected to these appalling conditions.”
Sarjoo said the latest report from the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse stated that the water was still not fit for drinking. “We note with discontent the metro’s lack of empathy towards the contravention of the basic human rights of Hammanskraal residents.”
However, City spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the council conducted regular water-quality monitoring in Hammanskraal.
“The latest tests were conducted last month and indicated the presence of nitrate/nitrite in the water, hence the City is providing potable drinkable water through tankers.
“The eastern part of the area receives water through Rand Water while the western part is served by Magalies Water.”
He said the source of the water quality issues in Hammanskraal was effluent discharged at Rooiwal treatment plant due to lack of capacity at the facility.
“The City has appointed service providers for upgrading the plant. The construction period is 18 months. The upgrades will create the additional treatment capacity required to improve the quality of the treated effluent and raw water quality.”
Mashigo said water quality had deteriorated over time and that was the cause of water quality issues in Hammanskraal.
“The upgrades at Rooiwal include specialised studies for river rehabilitation in an effort to address the raw water quality issue.
“The water quality in Hammanskraal will only be permanently resolved once the source of the problem is addressed,” said Mashigo.