Metro wants to win war on leaks

2016-12-14 06:03
Annette Lovemore

Annette Lovemore

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NELSON Mandela Bay Municipality is determined to win its war on leaks, said Councillor Annette Lovemore, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Infrastructure and Engineering, at a media briefing at Port Elizabeth City Hall last week.

“Water is a precious resource. We cannot allow it to run to waste. We are losing about 25% of our treated water to leaks right now,” Lovemore said.

At the Council Meeting on December 1, councillors tasked officials and the relevant political role-players with aggressively addressing our high water losses.

A primary target – agreed at the council meeting – is the reduction of the turnaround time in attending to and repairing water leaks from the current, unacceptable 15 to 24 days to a maximum of 5 days within three months, i.e. by the end of February 2017.

“In order to fix leaks, we need plumbers. Our municipality is woefully short of these artisans. Where we should have 54 plumbers in our Water and Sanitation Directorate, we had only 21. It is simply impossible to win the war on leaks in such circumstances,” Lovemore said.

“We are pleased to announce that we are filling these vacancies, as we identify funding. The first seven of our new plumbers commenced their tenure with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on December 1.

“They are settling in, being orientated and getting to know our Metro and its demands. Within the next week they will be fixing leaks.

“In the New Year, we will be advertising to fill more vacancies,” said Lovemore.

“We are receiving about 3 000 calls a month at our 24-hour operations centre, dealing with reports of water leaks. We have a backlog, with about 20% of complaints lodged in June still not addressed. We know this is not acceptable, by a long stretch.

“Not only have we appointed plumbers – the first seven of many more – but we have filled Superintendent posts, which will allow enhanced management of our tasks.

“ We have appointed contractors to help us blitz the backlog and get our leak-fixing turnaround time down to acceptable levels,” said Lovemore. Residents can report water leaks and abuse to the call centre at 0800 20 50 50.

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