Vandalism of sewage station to cost City of Cape Town R6m
Cape Town - The City says it will have to reconstruct the Site B sewage pump station after it was severely vandalised. It is estimated it will cost R6 million to rebuild.
The pump station is one of 25 sewage pump stations that the City said were either not working or were having to run on borrowed or mobile pumps.
Other sewage pump stations that have been affected are in Heinz Park, Philippi West, Wallacedene, Crammix in Brackenfell, Tambo Street in Gugulethu, Crossroads, Area L in Mitchells Plain and Paarden Eiland.
Mayoral committee member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said that the City could not tolerate the actions of opportunistic criminals whose selfish and destructive acts directly impacted on service delivery to residents.
Limberg said that in some cases, even fencing or security guards on site did not deter vandals - they either break a fence or steal it.
“The City does not have a limitless budget and damage caused by vandalism is a big drain on our resources.The City’s Water and Sanitation team is working continuously to ensure that pump stations operate at the highest capacity possible.
“In addition, the operational teams monitor the areas and are continuing to clear sewer blockages, which cause overflows, and will continue to do so in efforts to minimise the impact on residents,” she said.
Site B ward councillor Monde Nqulwana said that sewage pump stations in Khayelitsha were neglected by the City. He said that the community was lucky that no major blockages had been caused as a result.
“Our communities have an infrastructure which is ageing and there has not been any major maintenance of the pipes, except to unblock them. Our concern is that vandalism happens because everything now, even useless things packed in one place, are stolen without knowing its value. These sewage plants have a value to the community, and when they work effectively there are minimal blockages.
“There used to be security at some of the stations but the City is reducing all the costs and this results in these acts of vandalism,” he said.
Chairperson of sub-council 9 Xolani Sotashe said that the City needed to be steadfast in protecting facilities brought into communities.
“You cannot come to a community, build a facility and leave without having a plan in terms of protecting it. When people start to have a sense of ownership of these facilities, it makes lives easier. The City must have partnerships with the community, and get people from the community to look after them,” he said.
The City urges anyone who has any information regarding the vandalism incidents to report it to the police.