An amount of R911 million has been committed for the 2020/21 financial year to assist in solving the longstanding sewer pollution of the Vaal River, says the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

“A total investment by the department in the 2020/21 financial year is R1.2 billion for work that includes the building of additional wastewater treatment capacity and associated pump stations,” the DWS said in a statement.

The department said that it has recently finalised the scope of all that needs to be done to solve the sewer challenge.

In addition, 26 work packages will be advertised in the coming weeks for competent contractors to be part of solving the protracted sewer challenge.

“This means that the appointed contractors will be on the ground during festive season. Provided there are no community protests leading to work stoppages, and these have become more frequent in recent times, the department plans to launch module 6 in Sebokeng Water Care Works before the end of current financial year,“ said the DWS on Friday.

The department added that it is taking all the necessary precautions to ensure that it complies with the provisions of Section 217 of the Constitution, in terms of procurement.

“In this regard, departmental checks and balances had to be followed to the letter to ensure compliance with procurement processes. This thoroughness on the part of the department caused delays but was necessary to ensure processes were done in a completely honest and straightforward manner.

“The process of advertising for competent contractors is at its final stages and adverts will be in the government gazette soon. The start and completion dates of the project will be communicated to all interested stakeholders once the contractors have been appointed as the department cannot pre-empt this before the appointments have been made.”

On Monday, the Departmental Acting Director-General Trevor Balzer and his team engaged relevant stakeholders with a view to strengthen the inclusive and coherent programme which will help see the intervention work through to its successful conclusion.

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