Our water supply is being sabotaged, says Nelson Mandela Bay councillor

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Vandalised water infrastructure near Addo Road in Nelson Mandela Bay. Residents say the water has been flowing for two weeks. Photos: Joseph Chirume
Vandalised water infrastructure near Addo Road in Nelson Mandela Bay. Residents say the water has been flowing for two weeks. Photos: Joseph Chirume
  • A councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay suspects the municipality's water works are being vandalised. 
  • He said vandals required equipment and knowledge of the infrastructure. 
  • Water supply in the metro is already under stress from drought and poor water management. 

Water supply in Nelson Mandela Bay is being sabotaged, according to the municipality.

"I want to make this public. Besides that there is vandalism, I want to put it that it’s acts of sabotage, and the Investigating Unit in the safety and security department must take action," said Mayco Member for Infrastructure and Engineering John Mitchell (Northern Alliance PR councillor). 

This follows a number of incidents of vandalism of air valves, including on a main water supply line.

Mitchell said opening the heavy concrete lids of the water beacons required equipment and knowledge of the infrastructure.

"I am putting it out there clearly, that air valves reside in an isolated area. It is impossible that a cement block of more than 1 000kg can be lifted by one person, unless there was external help. I am appealing to security to act. There is sabotage in the city."

Water in the metro area is already under stress, as dams are critically low due to a prolonged drought compounded by poor water management.

The Kouga, Churchill, Impofu and Groendal dams are currently below 15% combined capacity.

Water flowing down the Addo Road.
Water flowing down the Addo Road.

The municipality has on many occasions had to shut off water to residents to give engineers time to fix vandalism on the pipeline from the Nooitgedagt water treatment works.

One water beacon recently vandalised is located outside Motherwell, about 100m from the Addo Road.

A huge amount of clean water has been flowing for kilometres down the road, emptying into a small stream near a brick factory.

A resident who stays on a plot next to the road said the beacon had been damaged for more than two weeks.

The resident said:

Gushing water is a common occurrence here. The beacons are damaged on numerous occasions and the municipality takes a long time to fix them. We are always watching clean water going to waste. There was a time last year when the local stream was filled to the brim with water from one of the burst beacons. People were fishing for the first time in two years.

Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said acts of vandalism were on the increase in the metro.

"We urge residents to report acts of vandalism to 041 506 5500,” he said, adding that there would be a a water shutdown on Tuesday, for the Addo leak to be fixed.



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