South Africa

Tshwane’s R75 million plan to stop ‘water shedding’ – here are the areas that will get upgraded

The City of Tshwane has announced that it plans to put into action critical infrastructure plans in an effort to assist water utility Rand Water.

According to Daryl Johnston, the MMC of utilities and regional operations for the province said that the City has allocated R75 million for the replacement of worn-out water network pipelines.

“Through this budget, we have an estimated target to replace 18,420m of pipe across a series of projects.” The City of Tshwane listed the following areas as those to receive work:

  • Pretoria North and Dorandia
  • Mamelodi
  • Eersterust
  • Greater Sinoville area
  • Constantia Park and Moreletapark
  • Riamarpark
  • Clubview

“We have also initiated scouting and leak-detection activities with pilot projects working with new technology to find leaks before they are visible above ground. These are then prioritised within our budget time limit the technical water losses we are experiencing.”

Such initiatives planned by the city come on top of pleas by the government for South Africans to conserve water – enabling Rand Water to return their reservoirs to targetted levels of 60%.

Some of South Africa’s biggest metros in Gauteng have been facing routine water cuts, with reservoirs and pipeline infrastructure taking strain. At the beginning of October, Rand Water said that it was implementing stage 2 water restrictions on high water consumers.

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The utility subsequently urged residents in Gauteng to implement water-saving strategies as Tshwane was hit with water shedding alongside the City of Joburg and the City of Ekurhuleni.

Makenosi Maroo, a spokesperson for Rand Water told Newzroom Afrika that under stage 2 water restriction – tap water should still be available to municipalities Rand Water feeds water to, but it will not be as strong as it usually is.

Maroo said that in instances where taps have run dry, it might be a result of decisions taken by individual municipalities

Affected areas will need to increase the level of restrictions if public water consumption does not decrease and reservoirs cannot fill up quickly enough, she added.

The Department of Water and Sanitation, in light of the emergency, said that it is committed to flowing more water to the Rand Water system.

“We note the increase in water usage and restrictions imposed by Rand Water in response to deteriorating water levels in their reservoirs.”

“Therefore, we will temporarily increase the allocation for the abstraction of bulk water to Rand Water’s system in order to meet the demand,” the department minister said. This should bring some reprieve to the City of Tshwane.

With the current Rand Water challenges, Tshwane is now prioritising critical infrastructure maintenance to reduce water leaks. So as we call on residents save water, on our part we are accelerating fixing water leaks. #watershedding #RandWater pic.twitter.com/w3TE1Lbi4a

— Mayor Randall Williams (@tshwane_mayor) October 21, 2022

Read: What the UK’s political chaos means for South Africa

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