Home News MEC assesses Warrenton water supply projects

MEC assesses Warrenton water supply projects

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During his assessment this week, Vass said that outdated infrastructure and damage caused by natural disasters to the pipelines were at the helm of the problem.

The Northern Cape MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Tradional Affairs, Bentley Vass, during a meeting with Magareng Municipality officials. Picture: Supplied

THE DAY before a community-orchestrated shutdown was supposed to take place in Warrenton, the Northern Cape MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass, met with the mayor of Magareng Local Municipality, Neo Mase, and other officials to deliberate on the water challenges facing the town and to assess the progress made on projects that will address the matter.

Prior to this, a poster had been circling on social media calling for a total shutdown of the town on March 20, 2024, until the water challenges were permanently addressed.

The poster stated that the shutdown would continue until the 2024 national elections and called on Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul to attend to the problem.

Residents of the town have been complaining about having to go without water for days.

During his assessment this week, Vass said that outdated infrastructure and damage caused by natural disasters to the pipelines were at the helm of the problem.

“The two primary challenges experienced in recent years affecting the municipality were the 2023 floods that damaged the main bulk water pipeline that crosses the Vaal River and the historical water supply issues that persist.

“The historical issues in the municipality require urgent and comprehensive recapitalisation. This is because the infrastructure is old and has reached its design life and, on the other hand, there has never been any water infrastructure installed in some areas,” said Vass.

The MEC said interventions had been put in place to address the challenge.

“The municipality has addressed the water issue by constructing a new water distribution network that will supply approximately 1,500 households with potable water in the Ditshotshwaneng, Rabaki, Rabaki (Zone A) and Sonderwater areas.

“Since the project started, 523 households out of the 1,500 households have already been provided with potable water directly to their yards. The construction work is ongoing to finalise the connections of the remaining households to the newly constructed water distribution network by June 2024.

“I am happy that the municipality continues to prioritise water provision to the residents through the spending of all conditional grants, the majority of which go towards water projects.

“As the provincial government, we will continue to support the work of the municipality with other stakeholders like the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to ensure that areas in the municipality that are severely impacted by the water challenges are provided with good quality water within a reasonable period.”

Vass added that the department will also implement temporary measures to ensure that residents have access to water.

“As an interim intervention, water tanker services will be implemented in the areas of Chris Hani, Rich Block and Las Vegas. Additionally, and as an immediate response, the department will procure 15 x 5,000-litre JoJo tanks to be placed across the three areas.

“The department has also approved a permanent solution by upgrading the internal water reticulation network in Chris Hani, Richblock and Las Vegas. This has been made possible by the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG).

“This project will provide potable water to 577 households in Chris Hani and 422 households in Richblock. An additional 400-kilolitre elevated pressure tower reservoir will be constructed to boost the pressure in the water network of Las Vegas.”

The MEC urged residents to take ownership of the resources and to report any vandalism of government infrastructure.

“We call on communities to not vandalise the infrastructure that is supposed to assist with service delivery. Communities must blow the whistle on vandalism and the destruction of government property,” Vass advised.

Meanwhile, Northern Cape police spokesperson Colonel Cherel Ehlers said on Wednesday that there was a heightened police visibility and presence in the area to deal with any incidents, following reports that the residents were continuing with their plans for the shutdown.

“The situation along the N12 and in Warrenton is peaceful. Members of the Public Police Order Police were present and are monitoring the situation,” Ehlers said.

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