R2-b to get rid of Rooiwal’s ‘big stink’

Residents with placards and posters, voiced their anger about the pollution of the Apies river last month at the Rooiwal community hall. Photo: Marietjie Roos

It will take R2 billion to upgrade the Rooiwal sewage treatment plant to get rid of the “big stink”.

Tshwane MMC for utility services Darryl Moss said the DA-led multi-party administration was decisively dealing with the plight of communities relying on the Rooiwal wastewater treatment works (WWTW) for water.

“The plant has, over the years, become in desperate need of upgrades and extensions,” he said.

“A bigger plant should have been built in 2010 already to handle the pressure of an ever-growing population.”

For the past months, residents and farming communities near the Apies river have been reporting sewage spills from Rooiwal WWTW.

They complained that not only was the pollution of the river affecting their health, but the environment and agriculture as well.

ALSO READ: Rooiwal sewage spill continues – residents demand urgent action

“Recurring incidents of sewage spillage pollutes farmlands and the Apies river – putting the community at risk,” said Moss.

“The city has appointed contractors to counter the combined effects of organic and hydraulic overload which leads to continuous discharge of sub-standard effluent into the Apies river.

“Work has started on the dredging of the ponds that contain sludge, thus curtailing any sludge build-up in the area.”

He said the project’s capital cost was estimated to be in excess of R2 billion.

ALSO READ: North residents protest sewage spill into Apies River

“Unfortunately we do not have the funds. But luckily with the current allowance of R50 million, we can start with the first part of this project.”

Moss said the upgrading of electro-mechanics would make a considerable difference as frequent electrical failures had been one of the main concerns that led to sewage spillages and the “big stink”.

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga has visited the treatment plant on several occasions to see first-hand the challenges communities were facing.

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Corlia Kruger

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