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Project Lungisa saving Grabouw millions of litres of water through pipe repairs

Project Lungisa programme graduate Thandeka Honono hopes her newfound plumbing skills will enable her to apply for a job in order to provide for her family. Picture: RODNEY MOLOISI

Project Lungisa programme graduate Thandeka Honono hopes her newfound plumbing skills will enable her to apply for a job in order to provide for her family. Picture: RODNEY MOLOISI

Published Jul 5, 2022

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This article first appeared in the 1 July 2022 edition of the Cape Argus newspaper.

Cape Town - With up to 37% of the country’s potable water lost due to failing systems, ageing infrastructure, illegal connections and vandalism, an ongoing water leaks repair and maintenance of programme, Project Lungisa, was hoping to help.

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The water-saving initiative between the Theewaterskloof Municipality and Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has saved Grabouw millions of litres of water since implementing this project - making a significant dent in water wastage in Grabouw.

CCBSA Sustainability Affairs manager Ntsako Baloyi said the project identified nine people from the community that underwent intensive theoretical and practical training in plumbing before being deployed to repair leaks in Grabouw’s informal settlement areas.

Baloyi said: “Official quantification of the water savings for Project Lungisa is still to be completed, but initial estimates are that these amount to over 10 million litres over three months.”

The nine participants in Grabouw graduated from the programme last week and were now ready to start and run their own plumbing repair businesses, servicing the local community and surrounding areas.

“For some, this is their first qualification and certainly puts them in great stead to secure employment or run their own enterprises. Due to the high unemployment in the area, this is a great benefit for them and will impact their communities positively,” Baloyi said.

Theewaterkloof Municipality representative Joanna Visagie said, “Water losses occur largely as a result of ageing water network infrastructure, illegal connections, and vandalism to facilities and infrastructure.”

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Visagie said it was thus important to have an active programme to address incidents of leaks when they occurred to limit water wastage, which Project Lungisa helped the municipality to achieve.

CCBSA public affairs communications and sustainability director Nozicelo Ngcobo, said, “This project will help stop leaks and prevent the pooling of stagnant water which poses health risks. We hope to see an improvement to the quality of life of residents while at the same time educating communities about water conservation.”

Programme graduate Thandeka Honono was grateful to be a part of the programme and the employment opportunities now open to her.

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Project Lungisa graduate Themba Mejini is grateful to the programme for providing him with essential skills to become more employable. | RODNEY MOLOISI

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Cape Argus

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