ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH

22 July 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EThekwini Human Settlements And Infrastructure Committee Decisions

Multi-billion rand Umkhomazi Water Project Phase 1 underway

Development of the R16.5 billion uMkhomazi water project Phase 1 is at an advanced stage and once complete, it will be one of the largest water transfer schemes in South Africa. 

This is a multi-disciplinary project which is being undertaken by the Department of Water and Sanitation and uMgeni Water. 

The National Department of Water and Sanitation presented to eThekwini Municipality’s Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee the progress that has been made towards the Umkhomazi Water Project Phase 1 at the City Hall on Tuesday, 21 July 2015. 

The Committee was pleased with the progress being made thus far and recommended the augmentation of the uMgeni water supply system from the uMkhomazi River. 

The project will assist to adequately supply water to the Durban and Pietermaritzburg areas and will meet the long-term water requirements of almost five million domestic and industrial water users in both cities.

Currently, the feasibility study for the transfer of water from the uMkhomazi River to the existing uMgeni system is being conducted.

Head of eThekwini Water and Sanitation, Ednick Msweli said: “Based on the September 2011 projection, the uMgeni River system is in a deficit situation until the Spring Grove Dam is implemented and starts to deliver water.” 

Msweli added that construction of the Spring Grove Dam was complete and work is now underway to construct the Smithfield Dam (uMkhomazi River Development project) and this project is expected to be completed by 2023. 

Stringent measures proposed to tackle illegal water connections and reduce non-revenue water

More stringent measures aimed at curbing the scourge of illegal water connections and the strategies used to locate these illegal connections were presented by the Water and Sanitation Unit on Tuesday, 21 July 2015. 

The Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee recommended that the Water Amnesty Programme be extended for another two to five years to enable the Unit to intensify its drive and locate illegal connections in the City.

Over the years, the City has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce non-revenue water. While most of our efforts have produced positive results, illegal water connections remain a challenge. Currently illegal water connections contribute to about 15 percent of non-revenue water. 

EThekwini Municipality’s Water and Sanitation Unit has intensified its strategy to tackle illegal water connections and has developed additional initiatives such as reconnecting those who have been found tampering with their meters, so that they can start paying for the water they consume. 

A customer, whose water connection was removed because it was found that they were tampering with the water meter, will be now be allowed to apply for another connection after a period of 12 months and can also apply for debt relief. The current water policy did not allow for a customer’s water connection to be reinstated if the reason for the connection being removed was as a result of tampering.

Customers are encouraged to take advantage of the Water Amnesty opportunity offered to declare illegal connections and be regularised by paying R250 only. 

Paying for water while your neighbour receives it free of charge is not fair nor is it legal. 

Residents are urged to act responsibly and expose illegal water connections in their areas. 

The City encourages residents to visit Municipal our offices to discuss any water related matters. We are sympathetic to financial challenges and have a special payment option for consumers who are unable to make full payment on their accounts in line with the credit control and debt control policy.

Report illegal connections to the toll free number 080 1313 013, email EThekwini Water and Sanitation at Eservices@dmws.durban.gov.za

Residents living in the Welbedatch Informal Settlement to have electricity supply

About 1030 customers who reside in Progress Place informal settlement in Welbedatch will soon have electricity supply. 

The Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday, 21 July 2015, recommended the installation of 1000 metres of medium voltage and 5800 metres of low voltage overhead conductors in the informal settlement. This project is expected to be complete by November this year.

The Municipality’s initiative to electrify informal dwellings will assist to curb electricity losses that cost the City about R40 million a year and reduce the number of deaths caused by electrocutions as a result of illegal electricity connections.

Meanwhile, 77 new electricity applications in 437 Street, D section in the Mpumalanga Township are to be connected after the construction of a medium and low voltage reticulation system. 

This was also recommended during the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee yesterday. 

Any suspicion of cable theft and illegal electricity connection must be reported to the following numbers: 

•Electricity’s call centre 080 13 13 111, sms: 083 700 0819 or email custocare@elec.durban.gov.za

•Cable Theft Hotline 031 311 9611

•SAPS 10111

•Metro Police Emergency Line 031 361 0000.

Proposed upgrade of the 132kv Cornubia switching station to supply the Cornubia development 

To cater for the Cornubia mixed-used development’s additional electricity demand, eThekwini Municipality will upgrade the existing Cornubia switching station.

Electricity to the houses in Cornubia is being supplied from the Ottawa substation and because of development taking place in the north, the existing infrastructure needs to be upgraded to cater for future demand.

Plans to upgrade the electricity infrastructure have been approved by the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee.

ENDS 

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za​

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