Home News Warrenton residents issue ultimatum

Warrenton residents issue ultimatum

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Warrenton residents have given Magareng Municipality until August 16 to provide reasons for the delay in restoring the water supply.

A group of women marched to Magareng Municipality seeking answers over the water crisis. Picture: Supplied

WARRENTON residents have given Magareng Municipality until August 16 to provide reasons for the delay in restoring the water supply.

Warrenton has not had access to running water since February after floods damaged the pipes.

According to a memorandum that was handed over to the mayor by a group of women who marched to the municipality on August 7, residents blamed the local authority for deliberately delaying the finalisation of repairs to the water pipes.

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“The silence from the municipality over any progress is cause for concern,” they said.

Residents want a full financial report on the R5.1 million that was allocated for emergency water repairs, funds paid for the provision of water tankers as well as the R90 million water treatment plant.

Community members demanded that the restoration of the water supply should receive priority.

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They alleged that EPWP workers and persons that were “hanging around the tavern”, who did not have the necessary expertise, were apparently employed to repair the pipeline this week.

Residents allege that unskilled workers have been employed to fix the damaged pipeline. Picture: Supplied

An advert was also placed to provide water tankers to the municipality for one year “as and when required”.

Residents are concerned that they may be without water for the next 12 months.

The memorandum also calls for action to be taken against municipal officials who may have misappropriated funds.

The acting municipal manager at Magareng Municipality, Tumelo Thage, said delays were caused by the need for a 35 millimetre expansion on the steel pipes after construction.

“Bellow pipe fitting had to be installed on both sides to accommodate expansion and contraction of the steel pipe. The bellow pipe fitting was not in the original scope and had to be manufactured and that took about three weeks of lead time.”

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Thage added that a high water table was experienced on the eastern side of the bridge and at the position of the scour valve chamber.

“Similarly on the western side, the water table is high and there are anchor blocks that need to be constructed. This means we need to pump as we place geotextile and 19 millimetre stones.”

Thage stated that the continuous release of water by the Department of Water and Sanitation at the Bloemhof Dam was affecting their ability to repair the old pipe timeously.

He explained that EPWP workers were hired for manual labour and non-specialised work.

“The main contractor has specialised workers who are supervising the works. EPWP has a criteria for recruitment, I really think it’s inappropriate to call unemployed people ‘people from the tavern’.”

Thage added that all supply chain management processes were followed when appointing the contractor.

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He indicated that the tender that was advertised for the provision of water tankers was for 12 months “as and when required”.

“This simply means for the next 12 months the water tanker services will be available as and when required. It is not directly linked to the water availability or current water restoration projects.”

Thage stated that all financial reports including unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditures were submitted quarterly to the finance committee of council.

“These are presented to council for consideration. There is also the municipal public accounts committee of council. All funding received was declared to council.”

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