From Kenton Chamber of Business
I’m sure you’ll all remember last year’s festive season water crisis in Kenton! What a disaster that was and what a devastating impact it had on our businesses, homes and visitors alike!
However, the events that have followed the crisis and the work that’s been undertaken since is a story that needs to be told! It’s a shining example of how communities can work together to resolve service delivery issues.
After being told that water storage levels were down to 8% in November 2018, a committee was established to address this very serious issue. It was made up of Ndlambe officials, Amatola Water officials, as well as representatives of the community, including The Kenton Boesmans Chamber of Business & Tourism, KOSRA, BRRAG, and the Kenton Development Forum.
Tackling a problem of this significance was bound to create some conflict, finger pointing and blame, but the core group overcame all the usual obstacles and developed a plan. Key to the success of the plan was this group of people who’ve taught us all a lesson on responsibility and accountability.
Meetings took place regularly and, when required, were attended by the CEO of Amatola Water as well as the Municipal Manager of Ndlambe.
The short term plan, over Christmas 2018, involved severe water restrictions, regular and accurate communication about water leaks, reservoir levels and who was attending to what!
A ‘What’sApp’ group with representatives from ALL parties provided the communication network.
- Amatola committed to essential maintenance to make the plant more effective – membranes on RO12 were replaced in December 2018
- Ndlambe committed to repairing all leaks and managing the network more effectively and started immediately
- The other participants collected information and disseminated it to the various communities and groups
The 2018/9 holiday season was tough but a small group of committed people worked the most impossible hours under massive pressure to get us through the busy season.
The medium term goals for 2019 were set and have progressed well with NDLAMBE spending close to R2 500 000 on essential maintenance to bring consumption under control.
- An extensive programme to repair leaks, new gate valves, water meters and air valves was put in place
- A maintenance programme has been structured
- New information boards to raise public awareness will be erected
- The Water Conservation Demand Management Project has become a permanent fixture and 14 new plumbers are to be appointed
AMATOLA have committed to and/or completed the following:
- Replaced membranes to RO3 in April
- The telemetry will be upgraded
- Fresh Water Wells in the dunes are being rested where possible
- Sea Well No 5 – pump set to be upgraded – plus a pilot project to increase raw water by implementing Sand Water Extraction units
- New 1Mega Lt Storage Tank to be put up at the plant
- Replacement of RO1, including new membranes and pressure vessels
The new plant should be running by the first week in December. However, full production is subject to Eskom availability. Every 24 hours with no Eskom costs us 30% of our water reserves. Added to this we desperately need rain to replenish the Fresh Water Wells in the dunes.
With the new plant in place, and subject to the above, we can expect production of 3.4 Mega Litres per day, which is a 60% increase in production from last year. Should storage levels fall below 60%, water will be restricted and might need to be turned off at night.
We encourage ALL community members to install additional water tanks to see them through peak times. Also PLEASE make sure that your water storage tanks are full before the season begins. This will help reduce pressure on the municipal water supply once the visitors arrive.
The committee is continuously working together to ensure sufficient water supply with minimal disruption for all our resident. AT THIS STAGE WATER RESTRICTIONS REMAIN IN PLACE!
We offer sincere thanks to Ndlambe, especially Deputy Director Thulani Maluleke and his team. Plus Amatola Water Director, Asanda Gidana, as well as Andre Dyer and George and his team for their co-operation and willingness to work with us.
In excess of R12.5 million has been committed to this project so far. This is an ongoing story and we will keep you updated!