Durban — EThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said there was an alternative plan to get water to Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in the next three days.
This comes after a pipe ruptured in the vicinity of the Glebelands Hostel, leaving the surrounding areas without water since Friday. Kaunda said that city engineers were on the ground, and fixing the pipe would take them 10 days. He visited the hospital on Wednesday to engage with the management on its challenges.
Speaking to the media, he said they were supplying the hospital with water tankers to fill their two reservoirs to enable it to function. He expected this to begin last night. Kaunda estimated that replenishing of the reservoirs needed about 55 water tankers.
Kaunda said they were dealing with a leaking old asbestos pipe. He said there were plans to relocate and divert the pipeline, which is currently under a bridge on South Coast Road just before Lamontville. He said if they were to dig deeper they would interfere with the infrastructure of the bridge.
“Where the pipe is located at the moment gives us challenges as it affects the structure of the bridge. The pipe is inside the bridge, so therefore it’s important to save lives and divert it,” he said.
“We have been pushing engineers for seven days because we want to expedite it so the other intervention can be looked at,” explained Kaunda.
He said the affected areas included the industrial zones, as well as a small portion of the southern basin, the Glebelands Hostel and small sections of uMlazi V section. He said this was because of the ageing infrastructure.
Kaunda said he was certain that communities, businesses and the hospital would be fully functional and their services would be reinstated within the stipulated repair time.
Speaking of long-term solutions, Kaunda said the City had developed a water master plan that forms part of the provincial water master plan.
“A task team has been put in place to look at short-, medium- and long-term interventions that are needed to address the challenges of water and sanitation in the City. We also introduced a water infrastructure maintenance levy last year. To date, it has accumulated about R60 million. These funds have been set aside to refurbish and maintain infrastructure,” he explained.
Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said 30 mobile toilets had been hired and were being used to support sanitation services. The hospital continued to manage emergency surgical and maternity cases. She added that four split air-conditioning units were being installed in four theatres to ensure availability of two emergency obstetrics and gynaecological theatres, as well as two other emergency theatres in the main theatre.
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