Home News No end in sight to nightly water cuts

No end in sight to nightly water cuts


As residents face yet another city-wide water shutdown until Monday evening, it appears as if nightly interruptions will not end any time soon.

Sol Plaatje executive mayor Kagisho Sonyoni and municipal manager Thapelo Matlala addressed a press briefing in the council chambers earlier this week. Picture: Soraya Crowie

AS RESIDENTS face yet another city-wide water shutdown until Monday evening, it appears as if nightly interruptions will not end any time soon.

Sol Plaatje executive mayor Kagisho Sonyoni stated at a press conference this week that the repairs, as well as the provision of water tankers, will be funded from the budget facility for the bulk infrastructure grant, although they were not able to immediately provide the costs of the planned shutdown.

“We can only provide a breakdown of the figures after repairs are complete. There will be 28 water tankers as well as five or six water flatbeds that will distribute water,” said Sonyoni.

He said that they aimed to end the nightly shutdowns but did not provide an exact date as to when the water interruptions would be suspended.

“We have been battling with low reservoir levels during the summer season as demand is high. We urge residents to be patient and support our efforts to address the ageing bulk water supply infrastructure and maintenance backlogs to meet the water needs of a growing economy and population.”

Sonyoni indicated that the repairs were part of a three-phase project that would continue until 2026.

He said four major leaks would be repaired on the bulk pipeline between Riverton and Kimberley.

“We have experienced excessive water losses at the mid-station gasket in Roodepan since mid December 2023. An interconnection valve will be replaced so that the 600 millimetre and 800mm diameter pipelines can be isolated. This will assist in avoiding total water supply outages in the future.”

Sol Plaatje executive mayor Kagisho Sonyoni. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Sonyoni stated that major leaks would be repaired in Soul City and Camellia Street in Roodepan, while a high-lift pump station manifold at the Riverton purification plant would be patched during the exercise.

“These leaks have been the source of excessive water losses that have been threatening to collapse the entire water supply. We are losing 20 megalitres per day on the Roodepan leak.

“We are determined to execute this critical operation with precision and within the set time lines to avoid further inconvenience for residents.’

Sonyoni added that they were in the process of recommissioning two clarifiers at the old plant at Riverton.

“Maintenance will be performed on four clarifiers to improve production and reduce water losses.”

He added that emergency basic water would be made available in most city wards.

“JoJo tanks and roving water trucks will distribute supplies to residential areas. Special supply provision will be delivered to hospitals, homes of the aged and all other critical centres.”

Sonyoni said no entry would be permitted into Newton Reservoir, while Reservoir and Waterworks road would be closed to traffic.

Sol Plaatje municipal manager Thapelo Matlala. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Meanwhile, Women Waging War against GBVF, in collaboration with the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry, met with municipal manager Thapelo Matlala this week.

The convenor for Women Waging War against GBVF, Milly Wolfe, pointed out that women-owned businesses should also benefit from contracts during the water shutdown.

“Multinational companies from outside the Province are always appointed at the expense of local businesses,” said Wolfe.

Matlala said that while they recognised the need to empower local businesses owned by women, the proper procurement processes of goods and services had to be followed.

“We will not be pushed into doing anything outside the regulations,” he said.

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