Turning the tide: DWS and Tshwane team up to fix Hammanskraal’s water crisis
DWS and Tshwane municipality established a partnership to tackle Hammanskraal's long-standing water crisis. Here's what was discussed.
Minister Mchunu and Mayor Brink met on Friday to discuss Hammanskraal’s water crisis. Photo: City of Tshwane
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the City of Tshwane on Friday united forces to tackle the water crisis in Hammanskraal, following the cholera outbreak which claimed 22 lives.
A joint task team between the department and the city will oversee the plans discussed, with continuous reporting to DWS.
Hammanskraal water crisis
Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu and Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink discussed a blueprint of action to address Hammanskraal’s water supply hurdles.
At the time of publishing, 179 people have been hospitalised at Jubilee Hospital.
Securing support and funding
Mchunu described the meeting with the Tshwane mayor as a “candid dialogue”, a platform where facts were scrutinised and resolutions proposed.
“We had a previous meeting in Cape Town and recognised the urgent need to change the status quo,” Mchunu said.
Mchunu said they would engage with Treasury and the Department of Human Settlements to outline the plans and discuss funding.
A draft document outlining their plans was presented and agreed upon, setting a precedent for the collaboration between DWS and Tshwane.
Past failures acknowledged
Admitting to past failures and acknowledging the need for a fresh approach, Brink said they’ve now reached the end of the line with failures and excuses.
He said everything that didn’t work in the past must now be replaced by this partnership.
Further clarity on roles, responsibilities, and funding sources will be discussed in an upcoming briefing next week.
“Next week we will say where that money would come from, and the time frame,” Mchunu said.
“We will give a time frame, but if something happen along the way, we will come and say that this has happened and delayed our timeline.”
Hammanskraal battle for clean water
The Hammanskraal community, under the jurisdiction of the City of Tshwane, has been grappling with an unreliable and sub-standard potable water supply for years.
This, despite the Temba Water Treatment Plant’s upgrade to a daily capacity of 120 megalitres.
A significant contributor to the poor water quality is the failure of the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works to meet the required final effluent quality for discharge into the Apies River.