City in­sists Ham­man­skraal wa­ter is safe for hu­man con­sump­tion

Pretoria News - - METRO - LIAM NGOB­ENI liam.ngob­eni@inl.co.za

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.

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