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Mayor’s newsletter for the week ending Monday, 25 March 2024

This newsletter shares some of the varying challenges encountered by the municipal teams in the course of service delivery.

Our water and sanitation teams regularly encounter vastly differing incidents involving repairs, callouts or refurbishment. Recently, one of the incoming power unit modules burnt out at the new Outeniqua waste-water treatment works thereby immobilising the pumping operations within the massive waste-water settlement tanks. Electrical teams were thankfully able to get on site rapidly to get the works operational within 24 hours.

A day later, the pump shaft at the Kraaibosch sewer pump station broke. This pump station has been due for an upgrade for some time. Make-shift repairs were affected within seven hours. The new replacement pumps were ordered almost a year ago and arrived in the past week. Their installation will need to be planned as it requires modifications to the pipework and supports.

The water teams have recently been undertaking refurbishment work on the Blanco and Fancourt reservoirs. Whenever breakages or damage occurs to water or sewer pipelines or pumps, repairs, which are often temporary, need to be made as swiftly as possible to restore services. Once spares are sourced or manufactured, permanent repairs are then affected later.

In New Dawn Park in Pacaltsdorp, manholes have been found where blocks of concrete from building operations have been disposed of into storm water drains. This is an example of drain blockages that then result in flooding and further damage of infrastructure. This example of vandalism and damage reflects the lack of respect for infrastructure by our citizens. On a daily basis, the sewer repair teams are required to clear sewer line blockages resulting from towels, nappies and various other items that have been flushed down toilets that then clog up the lines.

There have been recent media reports resulting from inspections at houses where builders or owners have illegally diverted rain and storm water into sewer systems. This excessive flow of water causes the overflow of sewer pump stations that then result in environmental contraventions.

We therefore plead with our citizens to adhere to the by-laws and to correct bad or illegal practices that are in existence. It is evident that there are some property owners and property developers who appear to disregard national building control or town planning regulations. The municipality is obliged to apply and adhere to legislation. These contraventions need to be dealt with even though some citizens believe that legislation does not apply to them.

Our country is experiencing a collapse of state capacity and infrastructure resulting from corruption, maladministration and non-adherence to regulations or laws. It is critical that we all work together to correct this scourge and return to honesty and moral values.