Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu has called for all leaks in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality to be fixed urgently.Minister Mchunu returned to the Metro on July 4th to assess progress made in drought interventions. The Minister, joined by the NMBMM executive mayor, Eugene Johnson and other Metro and departmental officials held a media briefing at the PE Traffic Training College before officially commissioning the Kwanobuhle Pump Station after refurbishment. The pump station will allow the Metro to transfer more water from the Nooitgedacht treatment works to the western side of the Metro. The pump station will feed into Kwanobuhle in Uitenhage, the Greenbushes reservoir, and the Summit reservoir. The station will not be giving extra water but is part of the strategy that will ensure equitable distribution of water in the Metro. At the briefing, Minister Mchunu said closing leaks is an intricate part of averting taps running dry. The fight against leaks forms part of the 5 pillars in place for the drought intervention as mentioned by Minister, namely: Repairing of Leaks, Restriction of water use (by all sectors, including domestic and industry), Equality in water distribution, Barging and Drilling of boreholes. He said it is contradictory to ask residents to use water wisely when the metro loses 30% of its water to leaks. Therefore, the repairs of leaks is intertwined with the needs for all users to reduce consumption. To date, the municipality has closed 2774 of the more than 3000 reported leaks. Minister Mchunu said although this is great progress it is not enough, and the work needs to be accelerated.
“I am not pleased but I note that there is progress,” Mchunu said. “It demonstrates that the team that is in NMBM is on gear 2/3 but want I them on gear 5 but there will be gear 6. They still have a long way to go, while noting progress.”“I want leaks closed, all of them in Nelson Mandela and if by Friday we haven’t done that, then I’m telling you I’m never angry, I’m suspicious I might get to that level,” Minister Mchunu added. The Minister emphasised the need for water restrictions to be adhered to by residents. He added that the municipality will also need to restrict water abstraction. Minister Mchunu says there has been progress in all 5 areas of focus but highlighted the need to accelerate all interventions in the metro. “We are fast losing water in Nelson Mandela Bay. We have got to apply brakes in terms of the water we are using. We’ve got to be conscious and persuaded and we’ve got to cooperate and comply with restrictions of water to each individual or each household. We are still using too much water; we have to restrict,” he uttered. Mchunu announced that the NMBMM team will continue to drill boreholes as well. The boreholes will assist in the fight against water shortages. Minister Mchunu assured that the water from the boreholes will be subjected to a quality check.