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Mzonyana Water Treatment Works getting a R360 million upgrade

By Yolanda Palezweni - Aug 3, 2017
Mzonyana Water Treatment Works getting a R360 million upgrade

The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) on Wednesday launched a R360 million project to upgrade the Mzonyana Water Treatment Works in Scenery Park, East London.

The Umzonyana system serves primarily the population of the costal and midland Districts of BCMM, estimated at approximately 500 000 people, residing in East London and Mdantsane, with a smaller proportion residing in Ncera rural villages surrounding the two main centres as well as the coastal towns resorts of Kaysers Beach and Winterstrand.

According to the BCMM, the Umzonyana Water Treatment Works is a Class 'B' works with a treatment capacity of 120 million litres per day. The entire project comprise of three phases, where it entails the completion of the raw water inlet works, fencing, upgrade of pump station and construction of additional sludge lagoons.

Speaking at the launch, BCMM Executive Mayor, Xola Pakati, said that the project will run until 2019 and will create many jobs for the unemployed youth of the BCMM.

He said that the population in the region is growing and, as the municipality, they have to provide basic services to the people including clean, purified water.

“We did say in our State of the Metro Address that we are going to deliver to our people and today, we are here to fulfil those promises,” said Executive Mayor Pakati.

He added that the current ANC-led administration is trying by all means to deliver to the people and not feed them with lies and broken promises.

“As the BCMM, we are very committed to work for our community and engage our people and communicate about service delivery that it won’t happen overnight, but we will make sure that everyone is informed about the development programmes,” said Pakati.

He further said that projects like this one are important as they will not only cater for men, but for women as well.

“We want to also give women an opportunity to benefit from our projects and provide necessary skills and training to them to empower them,” he explained.

Speaking to RNEWS, BCMM Portfolio Head of Infrastructure and Engineering, Councillor Ncedo Kumbaca, said that the project will bring massive employment and has already employed around 250 young people from the Metro.

Also speaking to RNEWS, Scenery Park resident, Zingiswa Bheja, said that the upgrade of the Umzonyane Water treatment plant is a welcome development as they sometimes go for days without water.

“We have aproblem of shortage of water in our community, we hope this project will make a difference because water is life and also create jobs for our children,” described Bheja. 

The project site was handed over on the 24th of May 2017 for the commencement of the project. A project Steering Committee (PSC), comprising of about six residents from the area, will be recruited and hired by the contractor while SMME’s and labour from the local areas will also be employed by the contractor various aspects of the contract for building, trenching, etc.

The BCMM also has a 'War on Leaks' programme, which seeks to reduce the water losses and also address the shortage of skills within the water sector by training the youth in various fields including a Water Agents, Plumbers, Electricians, Filters, Turners, Welders and Instrumentation.

The programme is a national programme that was initiated by the department of Water and Sanitation, which was launched by President Jacob Zuma on the 28th of August 2015 in Port Elizabeth.

According to the BCMM, the trainees undergo a theoretical training for a year and thereafter are distributed to municipalities for a practical training in order to complete their designated qualifications.

Speaking at the launch, one of the Water Leaks agent, Ntomboxolo Nkqayi, said that they are very grateful to the BCMM for providing them with the opportunity to gain skills.

“We are grateful to BCMM for the opportunity especially us women to be exposed in this kind of work that was mainly meant for men,” said Nkqayi, adding that, together with other youths, they have learnt a lot.

“With the knowledge we received from the programme, we can now go back to our communities and teach them on how to save water and fix damanages to save water for our communities."

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