Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has called for the urgent repair of all water leaks in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM).

“I want leaks closed – all of them in Nelson Mandela Bay. If by Friday we haven’t done that, then I’m telling you I’m never angry, [but] I might get to that level,” Mchunu said.

Mchunu made the call during his visit to the municipality to assess the progress made in drought interventions.

Addressing the media at the PE Traffic Training College on Monday, Mchunu said it is contradictory to ask residents to use water wisely when the metro loses 30% of its water to leaks.

Mchunu emphasised that the repairs of leaks is intertwined with the need for all users to reduce consumption.

While acknowledging progress made regarding the fixing of leaks, Mchunu said more still needs to be done to get to “zero leaks”.

To date, the municipality has closed 2 774 from over 3 000 reported leaks.

“I am not pleased but I note that there is progress. It demonstrates that the team that is in NMBMM is on gear 2/3 but I want them on gear 5. They still have a long way to go,” Mchunu said.

The Minister said the fight against leaks forms part of drought intervention strategy based on five pillars, including the repairing of leaks; restriction of water use by all sectors, including domestic and industry; equality in water distribution; barging; and drilling of boreholes.

Mchunu said there has been progress in all five areas of focus, but highlighted the need to accelerate all interventions in the metro.

He warned that the Nelson Mandela Bay is still using too much water.

“We’ve got to apply brakes in terms of the water we are using, be conscious and persuaded, and we’ve got to cooperate and comply with restrictions of water to each individual or each household,” he said.

The Minister announced that the NMBMM team will this week work out a target on the number of boreholes to be drilled to assist in the fight against water shortages.

He assured that the water from the boreholes will be subjected to quality checks.

Commissioning of Kwanobuhle Pump Station

Meanwhile, joined by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Eugene Johnson, Mchunu also commissioned the Kwanobuhle Pump Station, which will allow the Metro to transfer more water from the Nooitgedacht treatment works to the western side of the Metro.

After refurbishment, the pump station will feed into Kwanobuhle in Uitenhage, the Greenbushes reservoir, and the Summit reservoir.

Mchunu explained that the station will not be giving extra water, but is part of the strategy that will ensure equitable distribution of water in the Metro.

Source: South African Government News Agency

News Reporter