Port Elizabeth - The Nooitgedagt Water Treatment Works Phase 3 budget has been restored to R93 million by the National Department of Water and Sanitation, bringing the project back to life, Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Athol Trollip said in a statement on Thursday.
Work on phase three stopped last week when a health and safety contractor was not paid.
The Department of Water and Sanitation slashed the budget by R34 million, which would have amounted to a R23 million shortfall for contractors who needed to be paid, DA MP Leon Basson said at the time.
"The drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality had appealed to the DWS to reconsider this decision. Thus, we welcome the commitment to recommence work from Monday," said Trollip.
"This is an important development, confirmed verbally today [Thursday] by senior national water officials. Once Phase 3 comes online, the low level scheme will provide approximately 210 million litres of water to our Metro."
Nelson Mandela Bay still faces a critical water crisis with its western supply dams now at 25.67% capacity. The Nooitgedagt Water Treatment Works was crucial in preventing the city from running out of bulk water supply and currently treats 140 million litres of water per day, securing a flow to almost half the city's residents.
The project which started over 25 years ago as a National Government water scheme, controlled by the municipality, treats water from an alternative source, the Gariep Dam. This water then flows via the Orange-Fish River tunnel and a series of connected rivers to the Sundays River Irrigation Scheme. From there it is piped, via the treatment works, to areas which include Port Elizabeth.
African News Agency/ANA