Durban — Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu is optimistic about the strides made to end water challenges in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
On Thursday, Mchunu and his deputy Judith Tshabalala commissioned and handed over to Umgeni Water to manage the completed Spring Grove Water Treatment Plant in Rosetta and Bruntville Reservoir in Mooi River, in the uMgungundlovu District, KwaZulu-Natal.
Spokesperson Wisane Mavasa said that the water and sanitation infrastructure is part of the Greater Mpofana Bulk Water Supply Scheme which is one of the largest rural-based projects to be implemented in recent years aimed at providing access to safe drinking water.
“The scheme which has cost R1.5 billion since 2012 is funded by the Department of Water and Sanitation and Umgeni Water-Amanzi and it is implemented in two phases,” Mavasa said.
He said the components of the Mpofana Bulk Water Supply Scheme consist of a 20 megalitres-a-day Rosetta-Spring Grove Water Treatment Works, 8km long Nottingham Road Pipeline, 13.2km long Bruntville Pipeline and 12 megalitres Bruntville, 5 megalitres Nottingham Road and 1 megalitre Rosetta Reservoirs.
“Through this project water will be sourced from the Spring Grove Dam located in Rosetta, afterwards the water will be treated at the newly opened Rosetta-Spring Grove Water Treatment Plant and transferred to the reservoirs.
“The water will eventually be supplied to areas such as Lions River, Belgian, Mount West, Vaaleskop, Bruntville, Nottingham Road and Rosetta located in the Mpofana and Umgeni Local Municipalities,” Mavasa explained.
“In the end, the project will benefit approximately 130 000 members of the community and as a cherry on top, it will also bring social and economic benefits to the district through a reliable water supply.”
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which marked the official opening of the infrastructures, Mchunu assured the attendees that the department and other stakeholders are hellbent on closing the chapter on the non-availability of water.
He urged the Water Services Authority, uMgungundlovu District, to commence the reticulation process in earnest.
“The rights to water and basic sanitation are entrenched in our Constitution, and whilst we have not fully realised it, we are hard at work. uMgungundlovu is a Water Services Authority and also a water service provider and as such, it needs to ensure that it delivers on its mandate,” Mchunu said.
Meanwhile, the Daily News reported that Eskom’s load shedding is taking a toll on the drinking water supply by Umgeni Water and it is exacerbated as stage 6 is increasingly implemented.
That was according to a statement by Umgeni Water on Monday.
It said that Eskom’s electricity load shedding is affecting the supply of drinking water to municipalities within Umgeni Water’s service area.
Umgeni Water said: “As a consequence, thousands of consumers within the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, Msunduzi Local Municipality, iLembe District Municipality, Ugu District Municipality, Harry Gwala District Municipality, King Cetshwayo District Municipality and the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality receive an erratic supply of drinking water or, at times, no water from their taps for the duration of load shedding and often longer as water supply infrastructure recovers from the effects of power outages.”
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