R1.6bn for eThekwini pipes
Durban - The eThekwini Municipality on Wednesday said it would spend R1.6bn over three years to replace old, leaking water pipes that see the city losing 90 000 kilolitres daily.
"With the eThekwini water demand rising, and leaks escalating due to the old crumbling pipe infrastructure, we realised 18 months ago quick action was essential to prevent demand exceeding supply," said eThekwini water head, Neil Macleod in a statement.
The city was replacing asbestos and cement pipes installed in the 1970s and earlier.
More than 3 020 water meters had been replaced and the city would have sufficient water supply once the programme had been finalised.
The municipality bought 880 million litres of water daily, but only sold 590 million to consumers due to leaks.
He said the city had spent R37.3m during the 2009 financial year on various water loss reduction projects. Another R65m had been budgeted for 2010.
The new pipes would provide at least 50 years of leak-free service to the municipality.