Tshwane sets aside R450m to assist with Rooiwal plant upgrades

Tshwane sets aside R450m to assist with Rooiwal plant upgrades

Tshwane sets aside R450m to assist with Rooiwal plant upgrades

The City of Tshwane has approved a R450m budget for the upgrade of Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant.

The upgrade will improve the quality of water provided to the cholera-hit Hammanskraal to acceptable standards.

Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink said the money, which would stretch over the next three financial years, was still not enough to upgrade Rooiwal and external funding was still needed. 

Speaking during a media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday, Brink said the city was in partnership with the Development Bank of Southern Africa to assist with the Rooiwal upgrades.

He said, currently thousands of households in the city relied on water tankers which were costly.

“The problem that we have with the quality of Hammanskraal water is that the Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant has reached its capacity and we don’t have the money or the expertise to fix it quickly enough.”

“It is a problem that has come for almost two decades and with every year the population of Hammanskraal grows. With every year the infrastructure deteriorates but importantly there was also mismanagement at Rooiwal which has to be faced,” Brink said.

He said there had been various instances of tender irregularities “which has also had the effect of making what now needs to be done more complicated and more expensive”.

The tender to upgrade Rooiwal was awarded to corruption accused, ANC benefactor Edwin Sodi, whose consortium did half the work and was allegedly paid R292m, the full value of the contract.

Five Tshwane metro employees are undergoing disciplinary hearings for their role in the irregular awarding of the tender in 2019.

The employees, who sat on the bid evaluation committee, all scored Sodi’s consortium 80 points for the tender, despite the company not fitting the grade, placing it above other bidders.

On Thursday, Brink said more needed to be done in Tshwane to “clean” up the supply chain management system.

He said the city needed to ensure that public money was spent in a cost-effective manner. It also needed to ensure that no person “implicated in state capture is allowed to come close to this money or to derail this project”.

He said phase one of the Rooiwal upgrade was left incomplete at 60% and in addition to that a forensic report revealed there were tender irregularities and breaches of rules t during the awarding of the tender.

“But the point is, a forensic investigation revealed that on the side of the City of Tshwane, there were irregularities [and] steps are being taken against the implicated officials and there will be consequences to that,” he said.

Department of water and sanitation director-general Dr Sean Phillips earlier said the repair and upgrade of the Rooiwal wastewater treatment works would result in the Temba water treatment works being able to provide drinking water which meets the drinking requirements by June 2026.

Source: https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2023-06-01-tshwane-sets-aside-r450m-to-assist-with-rooiwal-plant-upgrades/