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Kimberley’s nightly water shutdowns are being scapegoated on loadshedding to cover up a mixture of ignorance and mismanagement of Sol Plaatje’s water infrastructure.
A recent oversight inspection to the Newton Reservoir showed worrying low dam levels. The biggest dam was closed while the other three were nearing critically low levels. This is not something that can be purely attributed to pump issues related to power cuts.
The DA is convinced that the bigger problem lies with the ongoing, massive loss of water between the Riverton Water Purification Plant and the Newton Reservoir. Aside from the freshwater leak that contributes to the lake along the R31 not yet being resolved, there are increasingly unattended leaks springing up.
Just yesterday, the DA discovered another kilometre’s long leak in the vicinity of Homevale Treatment Plant in the direction of Kamfer’s Dam. This leak alone is causing hundreds of thousands of litres of water to be lost.
Given that Sol Plaatje seems blissfully unaware of the growing dams in and around Kimberley, the only conclusion that we can draw is that staff are not conducting routine inspections and maintenance along the pipelines. This also makes us question whether the flowmeters, that measure the amount of water being sent to Newton Reservoir, are in operation and if the municipality is actively monitoring water lost to leaks.
The DA is preparing our own leak finding expedition and we will invite the Mayor and the technical team responsible for water to join us. The only way to secure Sol Plaatje’s water supply and stop the nightly water shutdowns is to wage a war on leaks.
In the meantime, the DA will also ask that the scheduled time for the nightly shutdown is altered to ensure that water is turned on earlier, so that all residents can have water in time to get ready for work.
Issued by Ockert Fourie, Cllr - Sol Plaatje Municipality