Press statement by
Darryl Moss
Spokesperson to the Executive Mayor of Tshwane

Tshwane administration making progress on water infrastructure which we will bring to all communities

Release: immediate
16 February 2017

The Member of the Mayoral Committee responsible for Infrastructure Cllr Darryl Moss, today handed over a project site to mark the start of the replacement of the water reticulation network for Clubview and Hennopspark.

The six-month project has become urgent due to the dolomitic geology and the possibility of sinkholes forming when water pipes leak in the area.

The water reticulation network pipes in Clubview and Hennopspark are old 75 mm asbestos cement pipes that were installed in the eighties. The main works will see the replacement of the most critical sections of the existing water reticulation network, which has deteriorated under the previous ANC administration to the extent that it has become unserviceable.

The project scope includes the installation of approximately 3,500m of HDPE water pipes. The replacement of all valves, communication pipes and water meters if required. All paving, concrete and road surfaces damaged during construction states must also be repaired.

The Clubview and Hennopspark pipe replacement projects is one of three water reticulation upgrades currently underway in the City. Ga-Rankuwa Industrial and Soshunguve are also undergoing major upgrades.

The Ga-Rankuwa water network is about 26 years old and rapidly collapsing due to the age of the now-defective asbestos pipes.

At a contract value of R3 390 029,12, the project will replace at least 1 309 metres of pipeline. The replacement includes all valves, communication pipes, a 100 mm diameter AC pipe with a 160 mm UPVC pipe, and water meters, if required. All paving, concrete and road surfaces damaged during construction will also be repaired. The project is expected to last four months and will employ 11 local labourers.

Moss said: “A total of R16 million has been made available in the 2016/2017 financial year for the replacement of worn-out water networks and further R1 million ring-fenced for lengthening of water pipelines. We are sitting with frequent water interruptions because a meagre 4% was allocated for preventative maintenance of water infrastructure by the former administration. For a metro this size, it is almost criminal because that has a real and meaningful impact on the City’s ability to deal speedily with water interruptions.”

MMC Moss added: “There will be water interruptions during the pipe switch over. Residents will be informed of the planned interruptions via existing communication channels. The is real threat of sinkholes as a result of leaks that go undetected for weeks because they are underground, particularly in Clubview . In addition to this, there’s fear of damage to property, problems with water pressure, constant water bursts. We plead with our resident’s cooperation and patience in this regard for this is to their long term benefit. We also thank our residents for their patience thus far.”

The water reticulation network in Soshanguve Blocks AA and F is approximately 30 years old and collapsing fast due to the age of the asbestos pipes.

The project to replace 4 500 metres of pipeline started in June 2016 and is progressing well. The contractor has replaced the most critical sections of the existing water reticulation network, which has deteriorated to such an extent that it has become unserviceable.

Leaks are frequent, and maintenance on this network is not feasible anymore. This situation has resulted in retaliation from the community, who refuses any other assistance such as JoJo tanks and insists that the water network be permanently replaced. The City is happy to have realised this wish on behalf of the Soshanguve community.

The City has noted that considerable water challenges have also been experienced in the Bronkhorstspruit, Zithobeni and Ekangala areas. These have largely been due to old, under maintained reservoirs, pumps and pipelines. The City is addressing all these issues through ongoing cleaning of the Zithobeni reservoir and replacement and repair of pumps at Bonkhorstspruit. The City plans to clean the Ekangala reservoir and Ekangala Block A sewer network in the near further as well as repair and replace water and sewage pump stations and upgrade infrastructure at Bronkhorstbaai.

Most of Tshwane residents and industries were quick to respond to the Rand Water request to cut its water consumption by 15 percent during 2016, and the City actually reached a savings level of 21 percent in January 2017. However, the level of dams in the Vaal River system is still below the required 75 percent, and water restrictions need to be sustained until we are sure that there is sufficient water to last us through the crisis. Residents and business are urged to continue with water savings efforts. The replacement of the water pipes will go a long way in responding to this call and alleviate the rampant water challenges we face.

The City of Tshwane is committed to ensuring that safe, clean and affordable water is accessible to all and that adequate planning is exercised in order to avoid service interruptions.