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Umgeni Water makes changes to bring relief to consumers affected by water shortages in central, south and north of Durban

File Picture: Leon Lestrade

File Picture: Leon Lestrade

Published Nov 30, 2021


DURBAN - THE board of Umgeni Water says it has initiated various actions, some in conjunction with eThekwini Water and Sanitation, aimed at accelerating processes to bring relief to consumers affected by water shortages caused by a shaft pump failure at its Durban Heights Water Works.

The shaft pump conveys raw water to the Durban Heights Water Works and its failure has resulted in reduced volumes of raw water reaching the plant and a decrease in potable (drinking) water production.

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Raw water is treated at Durban Heights Water Treatment Works and supplied as potable water to eThekwini Water and Sanitation.

As a result of the reduced supply from this plant, there is inadequate water for eThekwini Water and Sanitation to supply to some areas in the central, south and north of Durban.

The entity said in a statement that the board had held a series of meetings to examine strategies that will “strengthen the resolve” of its operations division.

This was done in a bid “to augment raw water resources to the plant and, at the same time, strategically manage outflows so that the customers of eThekwini Water and Sanitation are able to receive some water daily”.

The entity said at a meeting on Saturday, it was decided that in order to provide additional capacity and support to the operations division and strengthen its functionality, the current acting CEO, Sandile Bonga Dube, should return as executive: operations with immediate effect.

Dube was executive: operations at the time of his secondment as acting CEO.

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“At the operations division, Dube will give added impetus, through his leadership skills, to initiatives aimed at ensuring that maintenance, repair and refurbishment of ancillary infrastructure at the Durban Heights Water Works are carried out without further delay.

“These actions, together with refurbishment of Pump 1, will restore Durban Heights Water Works to full operational capacity.”

Dube will be replaced by Mboniseni Dlamini, who is managing director of Umgeni Water subsidiary Msinsi Holdings SOC Ltd.

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Umgeni Water said Dlamini has vast experience in the water sector, having previously worked at Umgeni Water as general manager: operations before joining Magalies Water as CEO.

He joined Msinsi Holdings SOC Ltd in 2017.

Dlamini will serve as acting CEO until a permanent CEO is appointed.

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The board said the process of filling vacant executive positions at Umgeni Water, including that of the CEO, chief financial officer and the company secretary, was expected to be finalised early in the new year.

The board said it continued to be briefed on a regular basis about progress regarding the refurbishment of the shaft pump.

The pump had been dismantled and taken to the workshop of the contractor appointed to conduct the work.

“The board is pleased that the contractor is on schedule to complete the work as per timelines given.”

Earlier this moth, Umgeni Water said in terms of the work schedule, the entire project – removal of the shaft pump, dismantling of it, transportation to the contractor’s workshop in Johannesburg, diagnosis of cause of failure, refurbishment and re-installation of it – would take five weeks.