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Rooiwal set for R4bn upgrade, DBSA selected as implementing agent


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Rooiwal set for R4bn upgrade, DBSA selected as implementing agent

Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink
Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink

1st June 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the City of Tshwane (CoT) have embarked on a partnership that will see the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) implement the urgent upgrade of the dysfunctional Rooiwal wastewater treatment works (WWTW).

The project will break ground in September this year, with completion targeted for June 2026.

This comes as Hammanskraal faces a cholera outbreak that has led to the fatalities of dozens of residents and the hospitalisation of many more.

While the source of the cholera outbreak has not been determined as yet, the Rooiwal WWTW, having reached capacity, has been polluting the Apies river over the past few years, to such an extent that the Temba water treatment works (WTW), which extracts water from the Apies river-fed Leeukraal dam, has been unable to clean the water heading to consumers in Hammanskraal to a suitable standard.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, CoT mayor Councillor Cilliers Brink said that the city did not have the funds or the expertise to fix the Rooiwal WWTW.

It did, however, have R450-million approved and allocated - over a three year period - from the city's Urban Settlements Development Grant to kickstart the long overdue project and a partnership has been entered into with the DWS and the DBSA to secure the balance.

According to DWS director-general Dr Sean Phillips, the full rehabilitation of the works will cost R4-billion, to be undertaken in three stages.

A financial team has been formed among the parties to finalise and secure the funding and contracts, he says, adding discussions are under way with National Treasury and the DBSA, which will be the implementing agent for the project.

The optimal financial structure will be communicated once concluded, but it could possibly be in the form of a DBSA loan or bridging finance.

The major project will have short-term interventions and medium-term phases which will resolve the treatment challenges by mid-2026.

In the short term, the DWS aims to have improved wastewater technology installed at Rooiwal between August 2023 and March 2024 to reduce the levels of contamination and increase the quality of the effluent discharged into the Apies river.

In an effort to improve drinking water quality, in the fastest possible time, Magalies Water will, starting from July, install a potable water 'packaged plant' at its Klipdrift WTW near Hammanskraal to ensure clean water supply.

There is an existing connection between the works and the piped water distribution system in Hammanskraal.

The 30 ml/d to 40 ml/d plant will be installed in phases, in increments of 10 Ml/d capacity, with full completion expected by March 2024.

In the interim, carefully monitored water tankers will continue supply until the packaged plant is in place.

The full rehabilitation project will break ground in September, starting with the completion of the repair project, which stalled at about 68% complete a few years ago. This is expected to be complete by November 2024.

The second phase of the project, from October 2024 to June 2025, includes increasing the capacity of wastewater treatment of the plant by 50 Ml/d, as well as desilting the sludge at the Leeukraal dam, which will enable the Temba plant to function better and produce drinking water of the minimum required standard.

The third phase, which starts in July 2024, will see the further upgrade of the plant by 80 Ml/d, from the current 250 Ml/d to 350 Ml/d once completed in June 2026.



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