The Citizen (KZN)

Water a small win for Busi


- Marizka Coetzer –

‘A third pump is arriving this week and will be working by the end of the month.’

The City of Tshwane said the water situation would improve within days after former public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane called on the city and mayor to fix the pumps at the Bronkhorst­spruit water treatment plant, following an oversight visit with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Tshwane last week.

“Urgently fix the three pumps or buy new ones. You cannot continue spending on water trucks but fail to pay for fixing these pumps. The switches there are old installed in 1982. Can you replace them with new technology,” she said and tagged mayor Cilliers Brink on X.

Mkhwebane said the two working pumps did not supply enough water to Rethabisen­g, Ekangala, Bronkhorst­spruit, Dark City and Sokhulumi, adding water trucks were not a permanent solution.

City of Tshwane spokespers­on Selby Bokaba said a third pump was arriving this week and would be working by the end of the month.

“The challenges at the Bronkhorst­spruit water treatment plant were caused by the recent breakdown of a pump, which has since been repaired and installed. It led to intermitte­nt water supply in the area,” he said.

Bokaba said the plant should have four functional pumps. “Currently, the plant is functionin­g with two pumps because the third one has been taken out for repairs, after which installati­on will commence. Because installati­on sometimes experience­s technical glitches, it is expected that installati­on will be completed by no later than the end of March.”

Bokaba said a local mining company offered to sponsor a fourth pump.

“The installati­on of the third pump will lead to an increased pumping capacity. The plant has been constructe­d to operate with four pumps, however it requires three pumps to function optimally. The fourth pump is usually kept on standby in the event one of the pumps experience­s a breakdown,” he said.

The city was also planning to procure an additional new pump to ensure that its residents in Region 7 receive clean water.

Lex Middelburg, councillor of the Republican Conference of Tshwane, said the water situation was not a new problem.

“In January of 2017, mayor Brink, then acting as mayor for Solly Msimanga, visited Kungwini for a site inspection. Following this, he wrote a lengthy letter to confirm the work that needed to be done at that stage urgently to avoid a collapse of the pump works.

“He undertook that the city would budget for and do the required maintenanc­e in that year.”

Middelburg said since then, nothing has changed or been done.

“As a result, the struggling pump works finally failed this year. The cause of this failure lies squarely at the feet of the DA-led coalition and Brink’s failure to keep a promise made seven years ago.”

 ?? Picture: Gallo Images ?? PUMPED UP. Now EFF member Busisiwe Mkhwebane got Tshwane into action.
Picture: Gallo Images PUMPED UP. Now EFF member Busisiwe Mkhwebane got Tshwane into action.

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