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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

WATCH: No more contracts with state capture-implicated people at Rooiwal, says Tshwane mayor

The city is putting measures in place to prevent sabotage.

Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink says plans to upgrade the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works are on track, as they prioritise security.

Brink and Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu were at the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works on Wednesday morning for an oversight project inspection.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa and media saw ‘wrong part’ of Rooiwal, says local farmer

The plant made headlines last year after a cholera outbreak which killed 23 people at Hammanskraal, with controversial businessman Edwin Sodi’s R295-million tender contract to upgrade the plant’s infrastructure being scrutinised.

At the time, the Department of Water and Sanitation found “the failure of the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works to meet the desirable final effluent quality for discharge to the Apies River, which in turn, flows into the Leeukraal Dam”, played a critical role in the Hammanskraal water crisis.

The SIU has since been investigating the refurbishment and upgrade project, of which only 60% of the first phase was completed before it was abandoned in 2020. 

On Wednesday, Brink said not repeating past mistakes was something they would prioritise as the city continues with the upgrade of the plant.

This includes avoiding contracts with compromised individuals.

“Upgrading Rooiwal is for the longer term. What we want to avoid are some of the mistakes that were made in the past with compromised contracts with people implicated in state capture becoming involved. That is our main project, to ensure that it doesn’t happen at Rooiwal,” said Brink.

ALSO READ: There’s a ‘high-level agreement’ to upgrade Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant

“The second aspect, courtesy of the department of water and sanitation is the package plant. The value of the package plant is that it allows us to eliminate water tanks and immediately you say that you realise the risk that this project faces from sabotage from vested interests. We will cooperate as different spheres of government to secure the package plant because people don’t want water from tankers, they want water from the taps.”

Brink said they were busy building a 1 000-metre fence to secure Rooiwal to stop anyone from sabotaging the work that’s being done.

ALSO READ: Hammanskraal cholera: Edwin Sodi’s R295m Rooiwal tender… where did the money go?