Water leaks in Nelson Mandela Bay ‘left unattended‘

2019-04-10 06:02

WATER leaks in the metro are a huge concern for many residents as the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has allegedly failed to act on a number of reported incidents.

This despite punitive water restrictions in place, which requires residents to use 500 litres of water per day per household, or less.

Fuming residents are demanding answers from the municipality to clamp down on water leaks and ageing water infrastructure.

The residents claim that fixing these problems would save water. According to the metro, the amount of water lost due to water leaks in the metro has reached a high of 33%.

Anna Nel, a resident who reported a water leak in Bluewater Bay, feels that there is a lack of urgency to fix leaks that are reported.

“I reported a water leak more than a month ago. The huge volumes of water that are being lost are unacceptable. I have contacted the call centre on many occasions and they do not respond in time when called to fix these problems,” Nel said.

The backlog of unattended water leaks has resulted in high volumes of water losses in the metro, including those listed under the Assistance to the Poor Programme (ATTP), which the municipality is mandated to fix.

According to Bay resident Jacques Zaaiman, they’re fighting a losing battle with water leaks left unattended for months.

Zaaiman added, “I read every week in the newspapers how we should report water leaks and how we should save water.

“However, nothing comes from it. I reported a water leak in February of a water pipe leaking fresh drinking water.

“It is thousands of litres of water just running away and damaging properties as well. I contact-ted the call centre many times and eventually, a guy pitched up. He made one hole and said that the water loss unit would attend to it and investigate the matter. Nobody pitched and it seems that it is not a big problem,” Zaaiman said.

Municipal spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki, said that there were a number of factors, which could be the cause of water leaks in the metro.

“Aging of infrastructure is one of them. It is also sometimes due to pipes being damaged by contractors or sometimes tree roots that break the pipes and vandalism also plays a big part.”

According to Mniki, a management system is in place that records all complaints and monitors water leaks in the metro. “The municipality has embarked on an extensive publicity campaign in order to promote the saving of water.

“In addition, the municipality has employed plumbers to deal with water leaks and also acquired services of private plumbing companies to augment the personnel that currently exists. We urge the community to contact the toll free number (080 0205 050) to report any water leaks,” Mniki added.

As of April 4, the drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay’s dams levels were at 46.87% of total combined capacity.

  • The water leak reported by Nel was fixed after the complaint was queried by PE Express.

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