Cape Town - Despite the City’s master plan to address water supply upgrades, expansions, maintenance and repairs, faulty infrastructure and pipe leaks persisted in Cape Town after a leak on the 150mm diameter pipeline in Browns Farm that affected a section of Philippi along the railway line.
Water and Sanitation Mayco member Zahid Badroodien said the Hillstar maintenance team began repairs on Friday and spent the entire weekend trying to restore the leaking pipe, but the team faced numerous challenges that prolonged the repair process.
“There was a leak on a UPVC clamp on the pipeline, which was repaired and replaced. The crew had to attend to the situation under very trying conditions as the leak occurred between informal structures which needed to be moved so that work could take place,” Badroodien said.
Badroodien said the team worked in a very confined space and pumped water out cautiously to prevent flooding of the surrounding structures while doing the repairs.
He said it would have been a much simpler exercise if the informal structures were not in such close proximity to the water supply servitude, which also included the control valves.
The leak was found to be the result of the UPVC clamp becoming defective and was replaced with a metal one.
“This matter is related to ageing infrastructure, but the other issue is maintenance of the infrastructure, which is a general function. The master plan will provide for upgrading when new housing developments are finalised and the network will be extended to cover the new development requirements. No specific water network replacement was targeted during 2021/2022, as the network is sufficient for the demand,” Badroodien said.
However, Stop CoCT founder Sandra Dickson said the unabated and huge amount of developments approved by the City in the last decade put its ageing water infrastructure under tremendous pressure.
“Overload of the water infrastructure comes about largely due to new developments being merely hooked up with the already ageing water structures, which were already battling to cope, hence overloading it to breaking point,” Dickson said.