Government will have to spend about R6 million on water tanks and trucks for emergency relief of the current water challenges in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

“Rand Water estimated that it would cost government R6 million to procure 100 x 5 000 litre tanks and 20 water trucks for an emergency intervention to assist with the current water challenges in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Water trucks will be made available for two months,” the Department of Water and Sanitation said in a statement.

Since the province was declared a drought-stricken area, the department, together with Amatola Water and municipalities, has been hard at work bringing water to communities that are affected by drought in the Eastern Cape.

Through Amatola Water, the department said 5 694 water tanks and 171 water trucks have been delivered to service communities around the province, as part of the drought and COVID-19 pandemic intervention.

A total of 756 water tanks have also been delivered and installed in priority schools around the province, with 274 boreholes being drilled to augment water supply in the province.

Nooitgedagt Water Scheme

The department said it will ensure that funding is available for the completion of the Nooitgedagt Water Scheme because Nelson Mandela Metro Municipality also depends heavily on it for its supply.

“The permanent repairs to the Sunday’s River Valley Canal are to be expedited to ensure its completion prior to the commissioning of the soon to be completed Nooitgedagt Water Scheme.”

Additional water tanks for municipalities

The department will provide 20 additional water tanks and three water trucks, additional to the five that are already operating, to improve water service delivery in Beyers Naude Municipality.

“Amatola Water is in the process of appointing a service provider to avail three tankers. In this municipality, water trucks will also be made available for two months. The Ministry will formalise government’s relationship with the Gift of Givers based on the National Treasury agreement to utilise them.

“In Amathole District Municipality, Amatola Water has deployed five tankers as at 20 September 2020, out of the additional 20 water trucks required for Butterworth. Amathole Municipality has submitted a revised business plan to the department for procuring additional water tanks and tankers on the 20% allowed from their grant funding,” the department said.

R50m allocated to Ngqamakhwe water pipeline

The department announced that additional funding is to be committed to the Ngqamakhwe water pipeline, which will supply water to Butterworth and surrounding areas.

“This financial year, there’s R50 million available versus the R720 million required for the entire project. The project team is ready to establish the site office in October 2020. The Project Steering Committee is also functional and the construction permit has been granted by the Department of Labour.”

The project is expected to be completed within the next two to three years.

Gcuwa Weir Project

The department said additional funding is to be committed to implement the Gcuwa Weir project, for completion by the end of 2021.

“The tender briefing took place on 15 September 2020 for Geo-Technical services. Two boreholes will be drilled and elevated tanks installed in Ngquthu village to improve water supply.

“Drillers have been appointed from a panel of Amatola Water specialists to be deployed in October. Amatola Water is in the process of appointing a service provider to deliver three water trucks in Ndlambe Municipality to increase water supply,” the department said.

The department has urged everyone to save water and report criminal acts, including illegal connections, water leaks, vandalism and theft of water infrastructure on toll-free number 0800 200 200.

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