The company behind the V&A Waterfront desalination plant has started legal proceedings against the City of Cape Town, following months of negotiations over contractual disputes, says a News24 report.

Quality Filtration Systems (QFS) lodged papers at the Western Cape High Court yesterday. It is suing the city for breach of contract valued at R53m, plus damages.

The company claims the city owes it millions in outstanding payments and that it had incurred huge extra costs to clean the seawater after discovering high levels of pollution.

According to Musa Ndlovu, QFS director, the seawater quality was up to 400% worse than the city's tender specifications had indicated.

Ndlovu said the city had left them with no option but to take the matter to court and sue for breach of contract for non-payment of rental, and for the extra costs incurred caused by the pollution.

The city previously said it rejected any implication that false information had been supplied to anyone ‘deliberately’.

Councillor Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for water and waste, maintained that QFS was responsible for ‘taking cognisance of normal variations in water quality’ and for building a plant ‘robust enough to accommodate raw water quality during all seasonal variations’.

The plant has been dormant since January and QFS says it will stay closed until further notice. The city has 10 days to respond.

Full News24 report