For a while now, residents of Makhanda East have been supplied with clean, uninterrupted drinking water. This was until a foreign object was found inside one of the two pumps at James Kleynhans Water Treatment Plant. Up until this incident happened, James Kleynhans was producing 13 mega litres (Ml) per day, three Ml more than its full capacity of 10Ml/day.
The damaged pump had to be removed and sent for repairs in George, with some parts having to be ordered from Johannesburg. I am glad to report that this pump has since been repaired, installed and aligned as of yesterday. James Kleynhans is now operating at full capacity producing 10 ML per day.
On Thursday 6th June 2019, the valve at Bothas Hill was opened without authorisation resulting in high lying areas in the East being without water. Both these incidents have been reported to the police for investigation.
Again on the 11th June 2019, one of our employees was found to have opened the valve at Botha’s Hill without authorisation. We acted swiftly and this individual is being dealt with in terms of the municipal disciplinary process.
Our suspicion is that these are deliberate acts of sabotage by individuals inside and outside the municipality who are opposed to the progress we are making in stabilising the water situation in Makhanda.
We will not be deterred by these criminal actions and we will continue to act in the best interest of residents. As the community of Makhanda, we need to be vigilant and report all incidents of criminality.
We have also started augmenting the western side with water from the James Keynhans plant.
Work has also started to connect boreholes at Waainek to the Water Treatment Plant.
The boreholes at Waainek yield 0.5 Ml per day. In addition, 3.5Ml per day will be transferred from the James Kleynhans WTW. A total of 4Ml per day will be available for Makhanda West from the two interventions. Twenty (20) Jojo tanks will also be places at strategic points. All these efforts are made in anticipation of Settlers Dam and Howieson’s Poort Dams running dry.
The municipality appeals to the residents to report incidents of water wastage. We would appreciate very specific reports which include the address and time. It should also be noted that the municipality does not have its own law enforcement component other than the traffic officers. These incidents should be reported on the municipal Facebook page or on MobiSam upon which the municipality will try its utmost best to follow up.
I want to assure residents of Makhanda and visitors of the National Arts Festival that there will be water before, during and beyond the Festival.
Hon. Executive Mayor Cllr. Mzukisi Mpahlwa