Inanda Dam and Wiggins Pump Station are now exempt from load shedding to mitigate water interruptions during planned power outages by Eskom. On Friday, Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and eThekwini Municipality officials visited the Durban Heights Water Works to check if the pumps were working. I SUPPLIED
Inanda Dam and Wiggins Pump Station are now exempt from load shedding to mitigate water interruptions during planned power outages by Eskom. On Friday, Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and eThekwini Municipality officials visited the Durban Heights Water Works to check if the pumps were working. I SUPPLIED

Inanda Dam and Wiggins Pump Station exempt from load shedding

By Anelisa Kubheka Time of article published Mar 23, 2021

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Durban - THE Inanda Dam and Wiggins Pump Station are now also exempt from load shedding to mitigate water interruptions during planned power outages by Eskom.

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela explained that load shedding had impacted negatively on Umgeni Water’s ability to pump water leading to interruptions in the water supply to communities.

Mayisela said the City was aware that areas in Verulam and Reservoir Hills were without water and they hoped this service would be restored soon.

He said the water outages in Trenance Park, Hilltop (Verulam) and Plumstead Crescent in Reservoir Hills were as a result of cable theft and the digging of fibre optic cable.

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said as leadership they had been seized with the responsibility of responding to the water challenges facing residents.

“We understand that load shedding has been a major contributing factor to the challenges we are facing. Some of our pump stations have not been working as expected but we have fixed those challenges. The issues on procurement which are internal controls have been resolved especially in dealing with contracts which will enable us to address water challenges,” said Kaunda.

Last Thursday and Friday City officials met to resolve the water issues and also conducted visits to reservoirs including Durban Heights, Inanda Dam and Wiggins, he said.

“We visited to ascertain whether pumps were working in the manner we envisaged but also to ensure that we appeal to communities to be patient with us because we have addressed the issue of load shedding especially in the main dam, Inanda Dam, which pumps water to Durban Heights. We are prepared to continue engaging communities on other matters relating to high demand, the ageing infrastructure of our water, which we are addressing, as well as many other aspects which require the support from communities.”

DA caucus leader in the municipality Nicole Graham said the real crisis was how poorly the water challenges had been planned for and addressed and added that questions by DA councillors about upgrade plans to Durban Heights had gone unanswered.

“Parts of the municipality have again been plunged into a humanitarian crisis, spending days without potable water. A combination of load shedding affecting pump stations and repairs being conducted by Umgeni Water at the Durban Heights treatment works has left many communities high and dry.

“Water tankers are few and far between and the harsh reality is that eThekwini Water and Sanitation does not have enough cash to hire more. Their adjustment budget, brought to Council in February, prioritised R54 million for staff bonuses. The department now has nothing left when a crisis hit.”

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