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Hammanskraal to get a new water treatment plant

Project set to provide clean water for community

A water tanker is seen delivering water to residents in Hammanskraal,
A water tanker is seen delivering water to residents in Hammanskraal,
Image: Felix Dlangamandla

The state has raised R700m for the construction of a water treatment plant that is expected to provide clean water to the community of Temba in Hammanskraal by April. 

Minister of water and sanitation Senzo Mchunu told Sowetan yesterday the construction of a packaged wastewater treatment plant would start this month and that a contractor had been appointed by the Magalies Water Board.

“The areas that are being supplied water by Magalies Water and Rand Water are still fine but the Temba area that is supplied by Tshwane municipality is the area that is giving us trouble. The most urgent thing that needed to be done was to get clean water to Temba and to do that we prioritised a packaged plant, a moveable water treatment plant. 

“A service provider has been appointed and money was made available. The plant will supply Temba with clean water outside of the Rooiwal water treatment plant and Apies River and the Temba water treatment plant. We will decommission the whole system and this new plant will bypass the infrastructure that is there and supply clean water to Temba.

“My priority was to chase the appointment of the contractor and to ensure that we get money for that [new packaging plant],” said Mchunu. 

Hammanskraal and Temba were some of the townships in the north of Tshwane that experienced the outbreak of cholera earlier this year. The outbreak was blamed on the dysfunctional Rooiwal and Temba plants, which forced residents to rely on tanked water for drinking. 

According to the Tshwane municipal spokesperson Selby Bokaba, the two areas were still being provided with water tankers and the water from the taps was reserved for household cleaning. 

Tshwane is raising funds to upgrade and increase the capacity of the Rooiwal plant.

Mchunu said his department had made several interventions to support municipalities that were struggling to provide water to homes. 

“SA does not have a water shortage problem, the issue here is that municipalities are battling to take water from the source to the taps in homes. I have noticed that the major problems are old infrastructure, skills and experience shortages by people who manage water departments in municipalities.

“In Gqeberha, the water unit has 800 employees and other municipality in KZN had 200 workers in the water and sanitation department, and yet people were not being provided with water. In such a situation you need quality people who can adapt to a challenge,” said Mchunu.

He said in such instances his department would provide trained officials to assist the municipality.

Mchunu also indicated that Tshwane had a challenge of losing a lot of non-revenue water through leakages and illegal connections. He said the accepted standard was at least 15%, however, Gauteng was losing about 34% of its water without getting any remuneration. Joburg water loss stands at 26%.

“We just cannot carry on like this and someone has to take responsibility. My dream is to see a situation where water flows to households without interruptions and we are getting there judging by the work we have so far done. Had these interventions been done 10 years ago, SA would have been in a far better position to supply water to the people,” said Mchunu.   


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