The Department of Water and Sanitation is sounding the alarm after multiple water treatment facilities in Makana have added to the Eastern Cape’s water crisis. A press release issued on Tuesday 12 February details plans for renovations at five municipal water treatment facilities as well as other plans to assist in sewage management and water shortages.
“As per the dictates of the South African Constitution, the National Water Act and the Water Services Act, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is enjoined to ensure the security of water supply to all South Africans, domestic, industrial, agricultural, mining, and all other sectors and facets of the South African populace.
“It is important to note that the “South African populace” includes the parched towns and villages across the country-like the town of Makhanda in the Eastern Cape. It is important that as part of this mandate, the DWS engage and work with other spheres of government to bring relief to these communities within its capacity. Currently the DWS is funding numerous projects within the [Makana] Local Municipality. Included in the list of projects currently being funded by the Department of Water and Sanitation are the following:
James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works (Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant funding):
“The project consists of the upgrading and refurbishment of the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works (WTW) with funding provided through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG). This WTW has a design capacity of 10Ml/d and is currently operating at 150% of its capacity. It is incapable of supplying the requirements of Grahamstown.
“The project will consist of four (4) phases: Phase 1 – Augmentation of the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works, Upgrading of Sludge Ponds and Balancing Reservoir, Phase 2 – Augmentation of the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works, inlet works, settling tanks, filters etc, Phase 3 – Upgrading / Refurbishment of Existing 350mm dia. Pumping Main, and Phase 4 – Upgrading Existing Water Treatment Works.
“Currently phase 1 is 85% complete with expected completion being end March 2019.
“The department has provided additional funds to achieve this target and has approved the project to continue with all these phases. R80 m has been set aside for 2019/20 and a further R60m within this Mid Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period.
Mayfield Waste Water Treatment Works upgrading (RBIG funding)
“The augmentation of the Mayfield Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) project is a multi-year project being implemented within the EC Region under the RBIG Programme. The above mentioned project is currently on hold due to budget constraints. ECDC funding is promised for this intervention
Belmont Valley Waste Water Treatment Works upgrading (RBIG funding)
“The Belmont Valley WWTW is currently not meeting the set discharge standards and needs to be upgraded and refurbished. The WWTW’s is currently running at 150% of its capacity. The upgrade will unlock development in the area as currently all housing projects have been put on hold as the WWTW is overloaded and overflowing, thus polluting water resources in the area and downstream. ECDC funding is promised for this intervention
Water Conservation and Demand Management – WCDM (Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Grant funding):
“The funding made available for the WCDM is R10 000 000 – 00. Currently several interventions are being implemented. The project completion time is set for end June 2019.
Refurbishment of Riebeeck East WTW’s (WSIG funding):
“A petition was submitted by the community of Riebeeck East due to the continuous water supply shortages and water interruptions. The raw water supply is abstracted from the 4 boreholes and the bulk water supply is almost 50% under capacity, and urgent attention is required to address the shortfall. The plant requires an upgrade to meet the current water demand, future demand and ability to cater for the waterborne sewage as the area is still in use of VIP toilets and septic tanks. The project aim is to upgrade the plant to 1Ml/d to provide adequate capacity for current demand and provision of waterborne sewage system. The estimated cost for the refurbishment of Riebeeck East WTW is R15 000 000.
Refurbishment of Alicedale WTW’s (WSIG funding):
“Alicedale is the small town situated in between a variety of game reserves and hunting lodges. It has one major industry, namely a large Mohair factory. The existing water treatment works is in a bad state of disrepair and does not meet DWS standards. It is also under capacity during summer peak periods. It requires upgrading to 2.2 Ml/day capacity to cater for the current demand and future developments. The estimate cost for the Refurbishment of Alicedale WTW is R10 000 000.
Incremental Groundwater Development in the Grahamstown Area (Drought Mitigation funding implemented through WSIG):
“Currently the consultant is busy with the drafting of the full scope of works for the project. The total funding allocation for this project which was made available was
R12 000 000.
Water Conservation and Demand Management in the Grahamstown Area (Drought Mitigation funding implemented through WSIG):
“Funding requirement for this project is R10 000 000.
“[Makana] LM has received R22 000 000 through the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG) – Drought Mitigation funding which must be utilised before end March 2019. [Makana] LM received R35 000 000 under the WSIG funding stream for the refurbishment of both Alicedale and Riebeeck East WTWs and the implementation of WCDM.
“With regards to the regulatory functions of the DWS, [Makana] can be taken to court for spilling raw sewage into the Kowie and other rivers due to failing infrastructure.”
Issued by the Department of Water & Sanitation
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