Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, has welcomed progress made to upgrade the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works.

Sisulu visited the facility on Wednesday to see first-hand what progress has been made to have the facility operate optimally.

The Minister was accompanied by City of Tshwane Executive Mayor, Councillor Randall Williams and his delegation, as well as department officials, led by Gauteng Provincial Head Sibusiso Mthembu.

During its oversight visits to the facility in 2019 and 2020, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation instructed the City of Tshwane to promptly deal with water and wastewater challenges which continue to pose serious health risks to communities. 

On 26 February 2021, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) held an inquiry into the state of rivers in the City of Tshwane, subsequent to which communities and the various water users reported a case to the Chapter 9 institution.

Sisulu said it was vital for her to visit the facility in order to properly understand the concerns that were raised by the SAHRC after the community lodged a complaint.

The Minister said she understands the reasoning behind President Cyril Ramaphosa merging the Ministry of the two Departments of Human Settlements and of Water and Sanitation, as they are interlinked.

She also commited to reprioritise the Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) for further renovation and upgrading of the facility.

“There are a number of informal settlements that need to be serviced and upgraded to formal settlements. This is one continuum of the cycle of human life. So, it makes it easier for me to say I do have the money and will give it to you in the form of the USDG.”

 Sisulu is confident that the upgrade carried out at the treatment works is bearing fruits.

The Minister heard that the City of Tshwane has managed to restore some level of normalcy at the works, and this includes the completion of all excavations to the design levels, fully installing two X belt presses and dredging of the maturation dam, as well as supplying chlorine on an ongoing basis. 

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