The Western Cape Provincial government has authorized a sum total of R88.185 million rand from the Provincial Unforeseen and Unavoidable Reserve Fund to assist municipalities with the unforeseen and immediate impact of prolonged load-shedding on water and wastewater services. In terms of this allocated Funding, George Municipality has received the sum of R14 220 000 (VAT included) as a contribution toward the purchase and installation of back-up energy supply. This back-up supply can include generators, renewable power sources, batteries and all ancillary costs associated with the installation thereof for example, switch gear, safe keeping, caging etc. for water and wastewater infrastructure. This grant funding will assist the George Municipality in ensuring a healthy environment and to continue with the provision of basic services to our citizens and businesses during the current load-shedding.
The municipality is in process of purchasing emergency diesel generators that will be placed strategically as follows:
Water Treatment Works
Haarlem WTW (+_ 150kVA diesel generator)
Uniondale WTW (+- 200kVA diesel generator)
Waste Water Treatment Works
Uniondale WWTW (+_ 200 kVA diesel generator)
Kleinkrantz WWTW (+_ 300 kVA diesel generator)
Outeniqua WWTW (+_ 1000 kVA diesel generator)
Progress to Date:
A Professional Engineering Consultant was appointed to assist the George Municipality with the design, procurement, and implementation of the backup generator units. The municipality has to date (July 2023) completed the procurement of the contractors required to construct the Generators required for Haarlem and Uniondale water treatment facilities; and Uniondale and Kleinkrantz wastewater treatment facilities. Due to the size of the Outeniqua Wastewater Treatment facility`s backup generator, a separate procurement process had to be followed and is underway.
It is furthermore to be noted that generator equipment in general is a long lead item, and therefore the delivery times associated therewith are very much dependent on the stock availability on same. In this regard the major risk foreseen at this stage is a delay in timeous completion of the project because of the knock-on effect due external factors affecting and delaying the delivery time of equipment, i.e. shipping of imported components, strikes / shutdowns, etc, as well as any delay in the Outeniqua WWTW generator tender process. In summary, the overall project progress is as follow:
- Appointment of Consultant (Complete) – 100%
- Appointment of Contractor: Haarlem WTW (Complete) – 100%
- Uniondale WTW (Complete) – 100%
- Uniondale WWTW (Complete) – 100%
- Kleinkrantz WWTW (Complete) – 100%
- Outeniqua WWTW (In Progress) – 40%
- Haarlem WTW (± 125 kVA diesel generator) – 20%
- Uniondale WTW (± 125 kVA diesel generator) – 20%
- Uniondale WWTW (± 200 kVA diesel generator) – 20%
- Kleinkrantz WWTW (± 300 kVA diesel generator) – 20%
- Outeniqua WWTW (± 1 000 kVA + 650 kVA diesel generator) – 0%
The total project expenditure to date (as on end of July 2023) is approximately 14.6% of the current funding allocation.
Other Load Shedding initiatives Implemented by George Municipality
While Eskom’s loadshedding continues in South Africa, the George Municipality intensifies its efforts to protect Municipal facilities through the installation of generators at the various pump stations to protect its infrastructure and ensure the uninterrupted delivery of services to the citizens, because of loadshedding. George Municipality has already installed large generators at 30 Sewer Pump Stations and 5 at Water Treatment Works at a cost of approximately R52 million, in order to keep water flowing and sewerage pumpstations operational during loadshedding. The costs of running these generators are exorbitant and currently totals approximately R148 000 per day in fuel alone at Stage 4, with the fuel costs even higher when Stage 5 and 6 are implemented.
The Executive Mayor, Alderman Leon van Wyk recently visited the Garden Route Dam to view the two largest generators installed by the Municipality to date.
“We are grateful for these two generators, thanks to the Bulk Facility for Infrastructure grant awarded by National Treasury to George Municipality in 2021 Western Cape Provincial Government for funding,” said Mayor van Wyk. “There are two 1250 kVA generators each, and we need these two generators to power our pump stations for the pumping of raw water from the dam to our water treatment works when loadshedding or any other power outage occurs. Together these two generators use 500 litres of fuel an hour.”
Deon de Jager, the Deputy Director for Water and Sanitation in the Civil Engineering Directorate of the George Municipality confirmed that the Municipality has secured the services for the installation of generators for a three year period. “The municipality currently has a three-year tender in place for the supply and installation of standby generators for municipal facilities such as sewer and water pump stations,” he said
“An emergency backup generator project is funded through the Emergency Load Shedding Relief Grant, and the scope of works is the provision of backup power to water and sewer treatment facilities to ensure uninterrupted operation during load shedding, therefore, avoiding sewage spills and subsequently preventing pollution to the environment, as well as securing potable water supply. The total project cost is R11 million and will provide four new sewer/water generators placed at numerous sewer pump stations benefiting the entire George Municipal Area,” de Jager added.
Battery energy storage is planned for all the Water and Waste-Water Treatment Plants as well as the Sewer Pump stations in order to reduce the diesel costs. The Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) deployment is being fast-tracked to save costs over the long run. The intention is to deploy BESS of more than 100MWh for the city using a phased-in approach. The city is currently in the process of feasibility studies for the BESS deployment, to assess the technical, environmental, economic and practical feasibility for installation and integration into the distribution network. These studies will further inform the city on the deployment strategy to undertake as it strives to reduce reliance from Eskom.