Walk-in cen­t­re calms the wa­ters

George Herald - - NEWS - Il­se S­choon­raad

A walk-in cen­t­re just off York Street in George aims to ma­ke it much e­a­sier to report and re­sol­ve wa­ter-re­la­ted pro­blems and que­ries - not just in George, but the en­ti­re B­ree­de-Gou­ritz a­rea from Wor­ces­ter to P­let­ten­berg Bay and stret­ching in­land to Beau­fort West.

And if you can’t get to the De­part­ment of Wa­ter and Sa­ni­ta­ti­on’s walk-in cen­t­re your­self, you can log your com­plaint on a toll-free hot­li­ne (0800 200 200).

The cen­t­re is one of 18 na­ti­on­wi­de and has been o­pe­ra­ting sin­ce the end of last y­e­ar, but the of­fi­ci­al launch will be la­ter t­his y­e­ar. Wal­kIn Cen­t­re branch ma­na­ger O­bed Ts­hi­si­ku­le says the cen­t­re plays a coor­di­na­ting ro­le. “Pe­op­le of­ten find it dif­fi­cult to re­sol­ve a wa­ter­re­la­ted pro­blem as t­hey ha­ve to de­al with ma­ny dif­fe­rent mu­ni­ci­pal de­part­ments and end up frus­tra­ted as t­hey st­rug­gle to get feed­back. At the walk-in cen­t­re we bring all the dif­fe­rent thre­ads to­get­her and en­s­u­re t­hat the in­di­vi­du­al is kept up to da­te with the pro­gress ma­de.”

The cen­t­re hand­les que­ries re­gar­ding wa­ter sup­ply pro­blems, sa­ni­ta­ti­on and se­wa­ge pro­blems, pol­lu­ti­on at wa­ter re­sour­ces, dry pu­blic bo­re­ho­les, burst pi­pes, le­a­king taps, wa­ter use re­gis­tra­ti­on and li­cen­cing, van­da­lism and theft of wa­ter-re­la­ted in­fra­struc­tu­re, re­ser­voir pro­blems, il­le­gal con­necti­ons and wa­ter qu­a­li­ty.

Se­ni­or con­sul­tant L­le­wel­lyn van der Poel says most of the que­ries re­la­te to re­gis­tra­ti­on. “Be­cau­se of the droug­ht ma­ny far­mers wish to ex­pand t­heir dams and pe­op­le al­so want to sink bo­re­ho­les. Due to the im­pact stu­dies and ot­her le­gal re­qui­re­ments, t­he­se ap­pli­ca­ti­ons ta­ke a­bout a y­e­ar to pro­cess.”

Ju­ni­or con­sul­tant Fu­ne­ka Du­kum­ba­na says t­hey can hand­le fi­ve pe­op­le at a ti­me. “We al­so ha­ve a pu­blic pho­ne with a di­rect con­necti­on to the hot­li­ne as well as a ta­blet for log­ging com­plaints.”

The cen­t­re is si­tu­a­ted next to Re­de­fi­ne Bou­le­vard in lower York Street. Turn rig­ht at the traf­fic lig­ht op­po­si­te the York Street en­tran­ce to PW Bo­tha Col­le­ge and con­ti­nue to the end of the ro­ad. It is lo­ca­ted in the last buil­ding on the rig­ht. O­pe­ra­ting hours: Mon to Fri

08:00 - 16:00.

Pho­to: Il­se S­choon­raad

The cu­s­to­mer ca­re staff members of the De­part­ment of Wa­ter and Sa­ni­ta­ti­on walk-in cen­t­re in George are, from left: Branch ma­na­ger O­bed Ts­hi­si­ku­le, ju­ni­or con­sul­tant Fu­ne­ka Du­kum­ba­na and se­ni­or con­sul­tant L­le­wel­lyn van der Poel.

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