Hammanskraal Water Crisis: Mayor Brink Must Take Council and Residents into Confidence and Provide Feedback and Way Forward

ActionSA will write to the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Cllr Cilliers Brink, requesting that he take the families of the 12 deceased, the people of Hammanskraal and the Greater Tshwane region into is confidence and provide feedback and a way forward to ensure that on other residents do not get sick.

He should do so at the next available opportunity and this month’s ordinary sitting of Tshwane Council scheduled for Wednesday, 24 May 2023.

ActionSA believes Mayor Brink should personally oversee the resolution to the ongoing water crisis in Hammanskraal to ensure that it is urgently resolved and that residents get safe drinking water to which they are entitled.

In doing so, the Mayor should provide an full report back on the circumstances that led to this humanitarian crisis and lay out a plan to give force and effect to the recommendations contained in the forensic report into the delays and suspected corruption at the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Plant commissioned by ActionSA through Council.

ActionSA contends that it is the chaos and corruption relating to the Rooiwal Plant that has, in large part, contributed to this tragedy which could have been avoided if safe, potable drinking water was provided to the people of Hammanskraal and its surrounds.

The current water crisis in Hammanskraal is years in the making with consecutive city administrations failing to complete long overdue work on the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Plant after awarding a tender to a known Gupta-accomplice, Edwin Sodi, who soon abandoned the project. The dysfunction at the plant means that spillage enters into the Apies River which flows through Temba Dam which is the Hammanskraal community’s water source.

ActionSA has long championed the Hammanskraal water issue, having instituted its own independent commission of inquiry into water quality in 2021, and successfully advocated for an investigation into the failed Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Plant scheme. Among other initiatives, ActionSA has championed:

  • The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) agreed to investigate corruption in the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Plant after ActionSA handed over our report on the matter.
  • Tabling a motion for the city to investigate the tender processes involved in Hammanskraal.
  • Lobbying for the city council to ensure that the City Manager implements the recommendations of the city investigation report and that Municipal Public Accounts Committees (MPAC) monitor the implementation of the report.

Erstwhile Tshwane Mayor, Randall Williams, failed dismally to address ActionSA’s concerns with regard to the Hammanskraal water crisis and even delayed the tabling of investigations into it – which contributed, in large part, to ActionSA agitating for his removal at the helm of the city.

It is also not lost on us that Williams also served on the mayoral committee that approved the award of this dubious tender and was, himself, complicit in the exacerbation of the crisis in which the people of Hammanskraal currently find themselves.

As a member of the City of Tshwane multi-party government, ActionSA will speak to our coalition partners to address our urgent concerns. The people of Hammanskraal have for too long been let down, and ActionSA is committed to ensuring that the situation is urgently turned around.