Home News Sewage truck out of action

Sewage truck out of action


“The estimated time that the truck will have to be in for repairs depends on the procurement process as the deviation route will need to be followed.”


WHILE the Homevale Waste Water Treatment Plant is reportedly not working optimally, neither is the “honeysucker” septic tank drainage truck.

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie said yesterday that the “D224” truck had gone into the municipal workshop on Friday with prop shaft problems. “However, it was discovered that the transmission was malfunctioning and needs to be repaired.”

Matsie added that quotes were requested from the agents. “These amount to about R12 200”.

“The estimated time that the truck will have to be in for repairs depends on the procurement process as the deviation route will need to be followed.”

Matsie added that the municipality currently owned only two of these trucks, one of which services Kimberley while the other one services the Ritchie area.

Meanwhile, the DA in the Northern Cape has offered to bring a team of experts from Cape Town to Kimberley to assess the city’s dysfunctional Homevale Waste Water Treatment Plant (HWWTP) and assist the municipality in getting the plant functioning at full capacity.

This comes amidst concerns that the HWWTP, which is intended to process the bulk of the city’s wastewater, is completely dysfunctional and has not been operational since August last year and remains a ticking time bomb.

The party’s provincial leader, Andrew Louw, said yesterday that earlier this year he visited the HWWTP, together with the Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Anton Bredell, and DA Sol Plaatje councillors.

“At the time, there were ponds that were filled with knee-high levels of fermenting muck. Crusts had formed over sewage that had clearly been stagnant for an extended period of time. Bubbling, fermenting sewage could be seen in certain ponds. One pond had turned an extraordinary pink colour, which raised serious alarm bells. And the dams meant to be filled with clean, purified water were only filled with a hard layer of muck that had plants growing in it. Raw sewage was also flowing into the veld at the back of the sewage purification plant.”

Louw added that it was only logical to assume that the situation was by now much worse.

“The question, however, is how long can the current situation, which poses health and safety risks to workers as well as the greater Kimberley community, continue before disaster strikes? Based on our past oversight inspection, it is clear that not only is there a lack of expertise to ensure that the plant is properly run but also that it is a daily struggle for staff working at the plant to perform their duties.”

Louw said that an over-bureaucratic system prevented basic supplies, such as chemicals and safety equipment, from being ordered.

“In effect, permanent staff refuse to perform certain duties because it is too hazardous. The irony, however, is that the plant has the ideal infrastructure for a well-run waste works set-up, which if utilised correctly, could see it transformed into a first-class plant.”

Louw said he would personally write to mayor Patrick Mabilo, offering the DA’s assistance, which would see the bringing of a team of engineers from Cape Town to evaluate the situation and devise a plan to get the plant back on track.

“We hope that Mabilo takes us up on our offer before the effects of the sewage crisis spills over into the everyday lives of Kimberley residents, as have the effects of the ongoing water crisis.”