Government must support Rand Water to prevent continued vandalism of bulk water infrastructure | Infrastructure news

Over the last five days whole parts of the City of Tshwane have grappled without water due to a lack of supply from Rand Water. The primary driver of these shortages have been incidents of vandalism which have taken place alongside planned maintenance operations.

Issued by Cllr Cilliers Brink – DA Tshwane Caucus Leader

Theft and vandalism of our critical bulk infrastructure should be treated with the highest urgency and the South Africa Police Service must deploy to assist and support Rand Water.

Criminal syndicates are now freely accessing and damaging our water networks and compromising the water supply to the entire province.

On 23 February before the planned shutdown to do a tie on the S4 pipeline, Rand Water suffered vandalism which had a direct impact on both the Mapleton and Palmiet supply networks to Tshwane.

This significantly affected the City of Tshwane’s efforts to manage its reservoir levels in preparation of the 30-hour shutdown for the maintenance on the S4 pipeline.

Rand Water proceeded with the shutdown on the pipeline which meant that parts of the City of Tshwane would be negatively affected as Rand Water reservoirs would drop to zero.

Then another incident of vandalism occurred in the Germiston area on Sunday 26 February which has further compromised supply to the city on the H3 pipeline. The most recent information from Rand Water indicates that this incident of vandalism could lead to water shortages “for a number of days”.

Ward Councillors in Tshwane are facing the brunt of immense anger and frustration from residents who have spent days without water. While the City of Tshwane is forced to pay for the continued use of water tankers driving up its costs.

The DA in Tshwane call on the Department of Water and Sanitation to immediately deploy additional security to support Rand Water in securing their infrastructure. We also need more continuous communication on when the most recent incident of vandalism will be resolved so that residents of Tshwane can receive water again.

The water crisis is becoming a bigger problem across a number of municipalities in Gauteng.

It is therefore vital that the Provincial Government must also join in with the municipalities in Gauteng to drive a programme and put pressure on National government and other relevant entities such as Randwater and Eskom, to find a permanent solution to this crisis.

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