ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

26 January 2016

Executive Committee Decisions

EThekwini's Plans For Drought Relief

The Executive Committee today, 26 January 2016, approved a report outlining the City’s emergency drought relief plan to get water to affected areas and reduce the amount of water lost due to leaks and burst pipes.

The report outlined resources needed to assist in supplying water to drought affected areas as well as improve the response time to complaints of water leaks and burst pipes. These resources includes two water sachet machines, 80 static tanks and stands, 20 additional water tanker drivers to service drought affected areas between 4pm and 12pm, 12 bakkies and items of small plant and equipment which includes a mobile compressor, water pumps, wacker rammer, sludge pump and a pneumatic breaker. The report tabled to the Executive Committee also approved the acquiring of five tractor excavators.

The equipment would be utilised as part of strategies outlined following an eThekwini Water and Sanitation Drought Joint Operations Committee meeting held late last year.

The 47 static water tanks are urgently required to be strategically placed within the northern region. A further 33 static tanks are proposed to be rolled out as the drought spreads and the number of affected areas increases.

The purchasing of two water sachet machines will manufacture and seal four litres of water. These sachets will be delivered to households for drinking and cooking purposes. The machines will package between 15 and 20 four litre bags per minute. 

This will ensure that consumers receive the bare minimum amount of potable water for domestic purposes. It is envisaged that the sachets will be delivered in bulk to strategic locations within the northern region where consumers can pick them up on their way home.

While Council tanker drivers are working around the clock to cover the demand in drought affected areas, this has led to high overtime and fatigue. The proposed 20 temporary tanker drivers will assist in distributing the workload and cover the drought affected areas.

The small plant equipment will assist plumbing teams to carry out work on the roads particularly to minimise leaks. It will also assist with a number of water and sanitation projects currently underway and in the pipeline. This will assist the Water and Sanitation Unit improve its response time in repairing leaks and bursts.

The report outlined the urgency of acquiring the above mentioned equipment as the current drought situation worsens and minimal rainfall is expected over the next four to six months.

Water restrictions have already been imposed on all users of the Hazelmere water treatment system since late last year. Restrictions have intensified as the dam level continues to drop. The report stated that in light of the persistent drought conditions and the prevailing levels of the Hazelmere Dam level, it was mandatory to increase restrictions to 50 percent of the total usage of customers. 

This was done via strict curtailments applied at the Hazelmere treatment works and in addition the closing of certain water reservoir zones for certain hours of the day. Consumers have had the direct impact of not receiving any water supply for many hours of the day as a result.

EThekwini Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala said she was both excited and happy about the plan as questions have been raised about what the City was doing to counter the effects of the drought.

The City constantly appeals to all members of the public to exercise their civic duty and report water leaks and burst immediately to our 24 hour contact centre on 0801 313 013. Water Faults can also be reported via sms on 083 707 3013 to or emailed to eservices@durban.gov.za 

The quicker eThekwini Water and Sanitation is informed about a leak, the quicker they can respond and address the matter to prevent further water loss. 

EThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) currently utilises approximately 100 plumbing teams to repair up to 400 faults a day. The City also proactively uses specialist contractors to look for non-visible leaks in the system. EWS has also started a programme to monitor the flow meters at reservoirs in real time. EWS is also expanding its real time monitoring to include all bulk water meters.

It is only cost effective to install monitoring systems on trunk mains. This programme is being rolled out and we aim to have full visibility of the strategic infrastructure by June 2019.

The City has recommenced with the mains replacement programme. For the next 24 months we will be gearing up to replace approximately 300 kilometres per annum.

Costs of replacement are highly variable (R500/m to R20000/m) depending on size, material and location.

EWS repairs between 200 to 400 faults a day, 95 percent of leaks are repaired in 24 hours and 98 percent in 48 hours. Priority is of course given to larger leaks and these are often isolated in one to two hours and then repaired within six to eight hours.

ETHEKWINI INCREASES BUSINESS TARIFFS

The Executive Committee approved the proposal to increase the 2016/2017 tariffs of the Licensing Services Output Unit by five percent. This increase would be effective from 1 July 2016.

This follows a review of the business licence tariffs being undertaken, taking into account the anticipated cost increases for the 2016/17 financial year. And based on the information a recommendation was made that the Business Licence tariff be increased by 5 percent. The proposal includes the 14 percent VAT as stipulated in terms of section 7 (1) (a) of the Value Added Tax Act. 

A report before the Executive Committee tabled how the tariff increase would affect establishments.

Restaurants, takeaways and tuckshops will see an increase from R439 in the 2015/2016 financial year to R526 in 2016/2017. Healthcare facilities and nightclubs will see an increase from R2 178 in the previous year, to R2 607 for 2016/17. Accommodation establishments such as bed and breakfasts, lodges and guestshouses will pay R526 in 2016/17 compared to R439 in 2015/16.

EThekwini Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala said five percent was a marginal increase for people running business while Speaker Logie Naidoo said tariffs had to increase as the City had to keep up with inflation.

“The City’s tariffs are not that costly. The City has done well to attract new business and create a conducive environment for business,” he said.

CITY TO BUILD 1860 HERITAGE MONUMENT

A report was submitted to the Executive Committee regarding the 1860 Indian Indentured Labourers Monument to be built in the City.

During the 150th celebration of the arrival of Indian indentured labours in South Africa a decision was made to build a monument in memory of the said arrival on our shores. This monument would be the reflection of the unfolding story of the first indentured workers for the sugar industry.

The proposed site for the monument is alongside uShaka Beach promenade.

The cost of the project is R4.8 million and is funded by the Heritage Directorate of the Office of the Premier, KwaZulu-Natal. The funds have been transferred to the eThekwini Municipality for implementation. 

The request was granted by the Executive Committee for the relevant units to procure the services of artists for the monument.

ENDS 

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

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Sisilana on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za​ or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za 

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