Another Makhanda water supply deadline missed

The town has experienced water shortages since 2012, but an upgrade to the water treatment works started in 2015 is still not complete

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Part of the James Kleynhans water treatment works in Makhanda, which has been undergoing an upgrade since 2015. This photograph was taken on 5 July. Photo: Loyiso Dyongman

The deadline for completion of the James Kleynhans water treatment works upgrade in Makhanda has been missed for the second time this year.

Amatola Water, which is undertaking the upgrade, had an initial completion deadline for April, but then extended it to June. As implementing agent, it appointed a new contractor, Water and Wastewater Technology SA, in November last year.

Makhanda has been experiencing water shortages since 2012, and the Department of Water and Sanitation approved the James Kleynhans upgrade in 2015, with a 2018 completion date, which has now been extended for almost six years.

Amatola Water spokesperson Amanda Skritch on Tuesday said they were “currently on the tail end of phase 2” of the upgrade, which involved testing various components.

“Full commissioning for the increased capacity from 10ML/day to 20ML/day will be released on 16 July 2024,” said Skritch.

Makana Citizens Front (MCF) councillor Philip Machanick on Tuesday said the party had been pushing Parliament and the minister of water and sanitation to demand a forensic audit of Amatola Water’s award and management of the James Kleynhans contracts.

Makana municipality spokesperson Anele Mjekula said all questions should be sent to Amatola Water.

The James Kleynhans water treatment works is the larger of two water treatment works supplying drinking water to Makhanda, and draws water from the Glen Melville Dam which is supplied from the Gariep Dam via the Orange-Fish tunnel.

The 8-million litre per day Waainek water treatment works extracts water from rainwater-dependent dams on the west of the town, and supplies the western part of Makhanda, including the university, hospital, prison, and private schools.

The two systems are interconnected to allow transfer of water to meet the current daily demand of 16 - 18-million litres.

TOPICS:  Water

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