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Water outages at Estcourt hospital due to ageing and failing infrastructure

The uThukela District Municipality has explained that recent disruption of water supply to Estcourt hospital and the surrounding areas are mainly caused by ageing infrastructure, coupled with pump failures.

Taps run dry. File Picture: Itumeleng English African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 29, 2022

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Durban - The uThukela District Municipality said water outages at Estcourt hospital and the surrounding areas are mainly caused by ageing infrastructure, coupled with pump failures.

The municipality said they had about five burst pipes from the main pump station to the hospital, which also contributed to disruption of water supply.

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“We previously advised the hospital to construct their own 48-hour storage tank to prevent unplanned interruptions, while the municipality is also in the process of refurbishing the Archie Rodell plant and replacing the ageing bulk and reticulation network,” said uThukela Municipality spokesperson Jabulani Mkhonza.

Last week the DA in uThukela called on the municipality to improve its water service delivery, and their communication during times of crises.

DA uThukela councillor Thys Janse van Rensburg said many of Estcourt’s communities and neighbourhoods, like Colita and Forderville, have been plagued by continuous water outages.

Janse van Rensburg said the lack of basic services plaguing the rural communities of uThukela are now also encroaching on the urban areas of the region.

“The administration process invoked by the provincial ANC in 2018 was never going to be able to normalise service delivery in uThukela, as it was the prior decade of ANC mismanagement that brought us to these empty taps.

“The DA’s Water Woes Petition to Parliament earlier this year was criticised for not affording the incoming IFP government enough time to see to issues, but it is apparent that uThukela will need high-level national intervention to prevent the region from turning into a jobless dust bowl,” said Janse van Rensburg.

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Responding to the DA’s concerns, Mkhonza says the uThukela District Municipality has since appointed an engineer to conduct a feasibility study, source funds and replace the old infrastructure.

“It must also be noted that recent floods also compounded the situation where silt was deposited into the gravity line, hence negatively impacting the water supply. The fact of the matter is that the Estcourt area has experienced water interruptions of late but not complete water cuts,” he said.

THE MERCURY

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