Directorate faces major challenges in addressing water leaks

OCTOBER 14, 2014

Water and Sanitation Director Barry Martin says there is “a great need for the prioritisation of funding” for water leak repair interventions and filling of vacancies.

In a report to the Infrastructure, Engineering and Energy Committee he lists the main areas of focus as the filling of operational staff vacancies; availability of plant and materials; awarding of annual tenders, and improved customer liaison.

Martin says that over the past number of months “there has been an increase in the number of water leaks being left unattended for various reasons”.

He says that this has also been “raised as a huge concern “when items on water restrictions were submitted to various portfolio committees.

Martin says a planning session was held with operational staff last month at which point the outstanding work on hand included 1 716 ATTP leaks, 545 meter leaks, 79 meter replacements, approximately 10 000 new meters required; 15 bursts, 839 service leaks and 282 blockages.

Among the matters “impeding repairs of water leaks,” he said, was the fact that there were no repair materials in the municipal stores.

He said that after a shortage of materials had existed for about eight months, some had been procured but that further tenders were required because some items had been omitted from the list.

In addition, Martin explained, there was a shortage of plumbers and reduced funding to fill vacancies and, while tenders for the leak repair contract had closed, the scope of work had changed so the tender would have to be adjust-ed.

Spelling out the implementation plan to address the situation, he said a business plan would be submitted to Provincial Treasury for funding to repair schools leaks.

Further, staff would be recruited to fill identified vacancies and new specifications drafted for the procurement of additional plumbing materials. - metrominutes


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