Syndicates targeting infrastructure to secure tenders have become a growing concern in Hammanskraal, where residents have long struggled with an inadequate water supply and rely on water tankers. As per 702, The City of Tshwane is spending a substantial amount, between R350 million and R400 million annually, on potable water tankers to meet the community’s needs. However, this heavy reliance has reportedly led to “water tanker syndicates” that exploit residents by charging for water and potentially drawing water from unsafe sources.
Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane, Cilliers Brink, expressed his dismay at the allegations and emphasised that charging for water should never occur. There are also worries that these tanker businesses may sabotage or tamper with the infrastructure to maintain their tender contracts. Brink highlighted the perverse incentive that arises when infrastructure is damaged, leading to increased reliance on water tankers.
To address these issues, Brink stressed the need for evidence to expose any wrongdoing. In addition, he emphasised the importance of reducing dependence on water tankers by improving infrastructure, particularly by fixing the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Plant. By rectifying the infrastructure, Brink believes that the need for water tankers in formalised areas of Hammanskraal can be eliminated.
Mfana Mashego, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, acknowledged the problems associated with the trucks supplying water to Hammanskraal, stating that the trucks are not in good condition. In response to the exorbitant costs associated with external tenders, the City of Tshwane is considering acquiring its water tankers.
The situation in Hammanskraal underscores the urgency of addressing infrastructure issues to ensure reliable access to safe water for residents. By improving infrastructure and combating syndicates, the City of Tshwane aims to provide a sustainable and efficient water supply system, reducing the community’s reliance on water tankers and ensuring the well-being of its residents.
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