CON­TIN­UED wa­ter out­ages in Ko­mani have con­tin­ued to anger res­i­dents in the past months with the Chris Hani District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity (CHDM) con­firm­ing this week that the Xonxa Wa­ter Aug­men­ta­tion Project, which was to have be­come op­er­a­tional at the end of last year, was fac­ing de­lays.

Res­i­dents took to Face­book to ex­press anger, with some res­i­dents of Ez­i­be­leni claim­ing to have been with­out wa­ter for up to a week while oth­ers in Vic­to­ria Park, New­vale, Bergsig and Top Town re­ported out­ages of up to three days.

Tem­per­a­tures soared above 40°C in the town at the week­end and taps ran dry.

The Rep re­ported (“Run­ning Dry”, Septem­ber 22 2017) that CHDM had said the Xonxa Dam project was ex­pected to near com­ple­tion by the end of last year.

The mul­ti­mil­lion-rand project was to re­lieve short­ages in the area. The Wa­ter­down Dam was at 72.8% on Jan­uary 1, down from 76% in 2017.

CHDM spokesman Lon­wabo Kowa said on Wed­nes­day the an­tic­i­pated com­ple­tion date of the Xonxa project had lapsed due to nu­mer­ous chal­lenges and was still in progress.

“There is cur­rently a con­trac­tual dis­pute on this project. How­ever, the in­sti­tu­tion is putting mea­sures in place to en­sure that the project is com­pleted by the end of March. We are there­fore un­able to pro­vide fur­ther com­ment on the mat­ter as it is still sub ju­dice.“

Bor­der Kei Cham­ber of Busi­ness Ko­mani chair­woman Adre Bar­tis said the cham­ber had been com­mu­ni­cat­ing with CHDM since just af­ter Christ­mas as it was found that var­i­ous res­i­den­tial ar­eas, in­clud­ing Vic­to­ria Park and Ez­i­be­leni, were with­out wa­ter on a reg­u­lar ba­sis with­out com­mu­ni­ca­tion from CHDM. “This later af­fected the town and sur­round­ing sub­urbs as well.”

Bar­tis said she had con­tacted CHDM mayor Kholiswa Vim­bayo to put re­lated in­for­ma­tion on the out­ages on the district author­ity’s web­site, which was done.

“How­ever, up to to­day we still do not have a proper wa­ter [cut-off] sched­ule and with the tem­per­a­tures soar­ing, peo­ple need to know what they are in for so they can prop­erly plan for any short­ages.”

Bar­tis said it was not true that the town had run out of wa­ter and that she was told by CHDM that wa­ter lev­els were low with not enough pres­sure to pump wa­ter to the var­i­ous ar­eas.

“The sump had to be filled and wa­ter was then pushed through af­ter­wards. The staff in the con­trol room need to be prop­erly in­formed so as not to add fur­ther frus­tra­tion to the com­mu­nity who de­serve an­swers.”

She said an ex­pla­na­tion on when wa­ter would be avail­able from the Xonxa Dam was long over­due and that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity needed to keep the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open.

In ad­di­tion, some ma­jor leaks in town were not be­ing at­tended to, which was a ma­jor con­cern dur­ing a wa­ter cri­sis.

“CHDM needs to call a meet­ing with all af­fected com­mu­ni­ties and dis­cuss the plan of ac­tion and rec­ti­fi­ca­tion.”

Ez­i­be­leni ward 6 coun­cil­lor Cae­sar Gwampi said, “The Unathi Mkhefa area has been with­out wa­ter for over three months and we have re­ported this to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity who told us there was noth­ing they could do be­cause the Bonkolo Dam lev­els were too low. The trucks which usu­ally de­liver wa­ter to ar­eas, have also been scarce.”

Kowa con­firmed the wa­ter cri­sis due to the drought which had led to reser­voirs be­ing un­der strain, re­sult­ing in wa­ter short­ages. The Bonkolo Dam was at 10%. CHDM was im­ple­ment­ing an ac­tion plan to ad­dress chal­lenges. The wa­ter cut-off sched­ule re­mains in place from 8pm to 5am.

Pic­ture: SUPPLIED

HOW? Mys­tery sur­rounds the ori­gin of this huge rock which ap­par­ently flat­tened a street sign in Robin­son Road in the Ko­mani CBD over the fes­tive pe­riod. If you have any in­for­ma­tion about its ori­gins, let us know on son­jar@ ti­soblack­star.co.za

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