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Vandalism causing stink in city

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The Sol Plaatje Municipal spokesperson said that the Homevale Waste Water Treatment Works was subjected to cable theft late last year, which rendered the plant out of operation.

Vandalism contributes to the problem, the Sol Plaatje Municipality said. Pictures: Supplied

THE SOL Plaatje Municipality has confirmed that the Homevale Waste Water Treatment Works has been out of operation since last year and is not expected to be up and running in the near future.

Municipal spokesperson, Thoko Riet, said on Monday that the treatment plant was subjected to cable theft late last year, which rendered the plant out of operation.

“Various emergency appointments of contractors have been explored in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act. However, none of the contractors have met the pre-qualifications in terms of the Supply Chain Management process. The scope of work will now be advertised in an open tender as the estimated value will exceed the threshold for seven-day web quote options,” Riet said.

She added that the tender process took approximately three months before an appointment could be made, on condition that all requirements were met.

“Vandalism has been a great threat for Infrastructure in the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality area and has accelerated the number of sewer blockage complaints,” she told the DFA.

According to Riet, five of the 27 sewer pump stations in the city have recently been vandalised, resulting in sewer blockages in various areas.

“In those areas, septic tankers are being used to pump out the reticulation while repairs to the pump stations are effected and security measures are put into place.”

Riet stated, however, that this was further compromised by the ingress of foreign materials in the sewer network that required the excavation of sewer lines to ease the blockages.

“It is unfortunate that these acts of vandalism and misuse of infrastructure tarnishes the reputation of the municipality. However, together with the residents of Kimberley, this can be overcome as the Municipality is in the process of addressing these challenges.”

The municipality was responding to a statement by the DA’s Reinette Liebenberg, in which she stated that despite spending more than R450 million on upgrades at its sewerage stations in Kimberley, none of the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s sewerage stations were in full working order.

Liebenberg expressed concern about the “obvious lack of management of sewage within the Sol Plaatje municipality that continues to pose serious threats to the environment and the health of residents in and around Kimberley”.

The party indicated that it would lodge a complaint with the Green Scorpions.

Reports of sewage overflow have been received in several parts of the city, including Greenpoint.