Water leaks to ‘drown’ Metro?

2015-11-06 13:45
;Athol Trollip, Nosimo Balindlela, Marshall von Buchenroder and Francois Greyling (back) looking at a burst water pipe near Despatch. Photos: SUPPLIED

;Athol Trollip, Nosimo Balindlela, Marshall von Buchenroder and Francois Greyling (back) looking at a burst water pipe near Despatch. Photos: SUPPLIED

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A full capacity Groendal Dam runs empty nearly four times a year, without any resident using a single drop of this water.

The above scenario is what the 45 billion litres of lost municipal water amount to per annum - owing to leaks and burst pipes in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole alone.

This amounts to more than 123 million litres of municipal water leaking on a daily basis through the collapsing infrastructure of the Metro.

“It is a massive loss to the people of the Metro at the hands of an uncaring local government. We are losing 42,3% of our water. This is a result of the Metro not hand-ling a crisis that has been a long time coming. It let water pipes and water infrastructure go to rack and ruin,” Athol Trollip, DA Mayoral Candidate: Nelson Mandela Bay, commented on this shocking news.

“The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality loses between R480 million and R1,2 billion to water leaks per year,” Trollip pointed out.

Parliamentary replies reveal that in the 2013/2014 municipal cycle, 45 billion litres of NMB drinking water were lost to leaks and burst pipes. The average daily water consumption of NMB is 300 mega litres (1 mega litre = 1 million litre)

Francois Greyling, DA Councillor of Ward 52, said there currently are 613 reported cases of water leaks in Despatch with only one plumber to attend to the problems.

“There are two allocated plumbers to serve the Uitenhage and Despatch areas, but owing to accumulated leave one of them is on forced leave. As we speak, the reservoir in Daleview is nearly empty as a result of a faulty valve. The plumber is occupied in KwaNobuhle. Thus residents will soon be without water,” said Greyling.

He further said, “It all sound good for the Mayor to cut the budget, but its damage control and will result in a further halt to service delivery. There currently are more than 50 vacant posts for plumbers.”

NMB previously cut the water repair and maintenance budget by R123-million.

Trollip commented that, “The clearest sign of the failure of NMB to deal with water losses is its cutting of the budget, at a time when a budget increase is so desperately needed.

“It is clear that this government is choosing electioneering over its duty to serve the people of this Metro. Millions of litres of water are being lost on a daily basis with no plan to stop them. If nothing is done to rescue NMB’s collapsing water infrastructure, no matter what Minister Mokonyane says about ‘re-looking at water allocation’, our taps will run dry soon.

“Instead of fixing the problem, and instead of upgrading our crumbling water delivery, the Metro wants to deflect its liability and install Smart Meters. Yet, today, in the City of Tshwane my colleague Solly Msimanga is laying criminal charges against the Tshwane Mayor and Municipal Manager for the Smart Meters program rolled out in Tshwane plagued by massive corruption and failures of governance. The same cannot be allowed to happen in NMB.”

According to Trollip who launched the Well-Run City Pillar campaign in Despatch on Monday, a working government, that is out on the ground solving problems is needed, rather than simply talking about the problems.

“An Anti-Leaks War Room should be established within the Joint Operations Centre to improve response time to reported leaks. A dedicated leak repair team should also be established. To do this we recommend that the multitude of vacant plumbing posts within the municipality, which are budgeted for, but are negligently unfilled, should be filled.”

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