South Africa: Department Seeks Solutions to Address Water Woes

Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister David Mahlobo has advised the City of Tshwane to work with the department to find sustainable scientific and technical solutions to address challenges at the Water Treatment Works.

Mahlobo made a call during an oversight visit at the Rooiwal Waste Water Treatment Works in Pretoria North and the Temba Water Treatment Works in Hammanskraal.

Mahlobo noted that the Rooiwal Waste Water Treatment Works was over-capacitated and poorly operated and maintained.

"As a result, poor quality effluent is discharged into the Apies River which feeds into the Leeukraal Dam, which is a source of water for Hammanskraal community.

"The water that is abstracted from the Leeukraal Dam and treated at Temba Water Treatment Works was on a number of occasions found to be non-compliant with the South African drinking water standards," Mahlobo said.

This was also confirmed by the results of the joint sampling that was tested by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), under the direction of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

"The City of Tshwane must own up to the problem and work with the department to find sustainable scientific and technical solutions to address challenges at the two works," Mahlobo said.

Mahlobo was accompanied the Member of Mayoral Committee for Utility Services in the City of Tshwane, Abel Tau and Head of Department in Gauteng, Sibusiso Mthembu.

Opportunities for female learners in water sector

Meanwhile, the Department of Water and Sanitation in KwaZulu-Natal is today visiting Unobhala High School in uMgungundlovu District Municipality to empower female learners about careers in the water and sanitation sector.

The visit forms part of Women's Month activities aimed at Grade 9, 10 and 11 learners to prepare and assist them in their career choices in the fields of Hydrology, Environmental Science, Engineering and Analytical Chemistry, amongst others.

"The department seeks to address the injustices of the past that propelled men into lucrative careers in the water sector while women were only considered for lesser demanding jobs," the department said.

Senior officials in Hydrology, Environmental Science, Engineering and Analytical Chemistry fields will be dispatched to the school where they are expected to make presentations and share their own experiences on the ins and outs of the water and sanitation sector.

The learners will also be afforded an opportunity to engage with the officials and ask questions about their areas of interest.

Other High Schools that will be visited include eKwaluseni High School in Bergville within uThukela District Municipality and Sibuyile Secondary School in Ugu District Municipality.

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