Action SA says if the City of Tshwane does not act on the recommendations of a report by the Hammanskraal Water Hearings Panel, they will take the matter to court.
The panel investigated the water quality and quantity in Hammanskraal over the weekend.
It has preliminary concluded that the water is not fit for human or animal consumption and there is not enough to service the community.
The panel included water experts, community members and a tribal authority.
For two days, the Hammanskraal Water Hearings Panel listened to residents and farmers from Hammanskraal and the surrounding areas.
Chairperson of the Panel Professor Jonas Letsoalo says the preliminary conclusion is that a constitutional right is being breached.
“In this instance, it is not a question of saying that they haven’t got sufficient water only. It’s not sufficient water and again, the water is so badly contaminated that it is not suitable for human consumption.”
Residents in the area have been complaining about the water since 2005 when they first noticed human excrement in it.
They allege nothing has been done since then to solve the problems at the Rooiwal Water Care Works.
“It was revealed, disclosed to us that in the year 2018 some R295 million was assigned to this project for the purification and improvement of the plant in Rooiwal. To date, nothing has been done, and it is disclosed to us again, that it seems this money has disappeared into what is now called the corruption principle in South Africa,” adds Letsoalo.
Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane Randall Williams was invited to attend and testify at the hearing but he declined, saying the City is busy with its own inquiry.
He did attend when the Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu visited the Rooiwal Water Care Works to inspect the progress at the plant.
The department released this recording of the visit.
“We decided we were going to come here to support you on your work and to congratulate you on the progress you’ve made so far.”
During the visit, Michele Kruger, Chair of the Department’s Advisory Committee, said, “The fact that the quality is so good is assuring me.”
However, residents claim that the plant was cleaned and the polluted water pumped into rivers before the ministerial visit.
President of Action SA Herman Mashaba says poor communities suffer the most under the current government because it does not provide them with clean water.
“We’ve been abused for 16 years and we are not going to be abused any further. So, we will use the courts in the event that we don’t really get the cooperation. So, we look forward to receiving the report. From there, it will be our responsibility, as Action SA, to ensure that there is an apt implementation of that report through the City doing their work or asking the court to allows us as the community to take over this facility and the people of Hammanskraal get clean and drinkable water.”
The Department of Water and Sanitation agreed to help finance the City of Tshwane to complete phases 2 and 3 at the Rooiwal Water Care Works.
The final report of the Hammanskraal Public Water Hearings is expected to be out in two weeks’ time.
Action SA addresses the media following public hearing into Hammanskraal water problems: